Spanish Town Trades Bulls for Books

Funding for the annual bullfighting festival will go toward education instead.


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The government of Villafranca de los Caballeros, a town approximately 80 miles south of Madrid, Spain, cancelled its annual bullfighting festival and instead plans to funnel the nearly $20,000 subsidy allotted for the fight toward books and school supplies for the town’s children. Mayor Julián Bolaños stated that “it’s money we can use in other ways.” While Bolaños has expressed that bullfighting is “a cruel spectacle,” he emphasized that the decision was made based on priority and not personal opinion. In addition to the 2010 ban on bullfighting in Barcelona, several other Spanish regions have reevaluated its stances on bullfighting, with Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena stating that “not one euro of public money” would go toward bullfighting. While Spain is still torn on the issue—with some arguing that bullfighting is part of the Spanish cultural identity—nearby France recently removed bullfighting from its cultural heritage list.