Bullfights with children: authorities investigate

Two children are believed to have taken active part in a bullfight in the borough of Elvas.

According to anti-bullfighting website Basta de Touradas (Enough of Bullfights), the children are both daughters of men connected to the blood-sport.

One is said to be aged nine, the other aged 10.

The younger girl is believed to be the daughter of a picador (lancer on horseback), the elder the daughter of a banderillero (the bullfighters on foot that insert barbed wooden decorated sticks into the bull’s neck muscle).

Explains Público, the event took place in Vila Boim earlier this month and was designed as a “school demonstration”.

Said one of the event’s organisers, the children “brought all the necessary paperwork with them, health insurance and everything. It was all in order”.

When questioned as to whether the organisers had received permission from the CPCJ (the national council for the protection of minors and children), the spokesman admitted: “This was a private affair”.

But the explanation does not appear to have worked. The CPCJ has agreed that it should indeed have been contacted in advance, and now authorities are investigating.

Says Público, these include IGAC, the general inspectorate of cultural affairs and ACT, the authority for labour conditions.

The paper adds that “there have been cases in which the CPCJ prohibits minors from taking part in bullfights, given the danger that confrontation with animals represents.

“One of the last occasions that this happened was this summer in Alter do Chãi, when permission was asked for a child under the age of 10 to take part in an event of this kind”.

The request was denied on the basis of the risk the event posed to the child’s physical integrity and his/ her “public exposure”.

As far as Basta is concerned, the law is clear: “The participation of children in shows that involve contact with a dangerous animal, substance or activity constitutes a very grave offence” attributable, in this case, to the promoting body: Vila Boim’s Associação de Romeiros.

In its own online post of the incident, complete with photograph reproduced here, Basta claims children frequently take an active part in bullfights “organised illegally in Portugal”.

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(Photo: plataforma Basta)