Media giants and politicians still showing no compassion ....jpg

Media giants and politicians still showing no compassion …

Media giants and politicians still showing no compassion for animals


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ANTI-BULLFIGHTING activists have expressed their disappointment at the lack of positive responses to last month’s campaign in the Algarve.

As reported in the September 21 edition of The Resident, animal rights activists, ANIMAL have been applying pressure throughout the region for people to boycott bullfighting. Out of the 11 targeted areas, 10 of which are in the Algarve, only two have made any response to the intensive campaigning by ANIMAL.

Aljezur and Tavira have responded and the latter even met with ANIMAL’s director, Miguel Moutinho, to discuss the situation. However, no concrete results were achieved.

One positive piece of news for the campaign is that the Dutch Anti-bullfighting Committee announced last week that they are joining ANIMAL and the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) in the fight against bullfighting.

This is good news for the campaign, as they hope that it will have an impact on the many Dutch and Belgians that come to the Algarve.

Moutinho confirmed the importance of the three groups working together saying: “With ANIMAL working actively to influence the Portuguese, the LACS campaigning heavily in the UK and now the support of the Dutch Anti-bullfighting Committee, we believe that people in the Algarve will start to take notice.”

So far, feedback that ANIMAL has received about the campaign has been very vague.

What is so shocking to ANIMAL is the apparent blatant disregard that Portuguese politicians have for the situation. They have shown no concern about the risk of losing tourists or any evidence that they wish to improve the situation for the Algarve’s economy.

The money that tourists bring to the region is crucial for the local economy and, even though some tourists have expressed their disgust at the situation, the câmaras still refuse to take action.

Alarmingly over the weekend, television company SIC held a parade in celebration of their 14th anniversary along Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade, using circus animals that appeared to be under heavy sedation. Among the animals were three African elephants, a tiger, a lion, a python and ponies, all of which were paraded around the capital for six hours in the heat of the day.

In retaliation ANIMAL organised a mass phone protest asking all their supporters to bombard SIC with calls expressing their disgust at the parade and the obvious sedation of the animals, who were described by some spectators as barely moving.

Despite the protests, SIC have announced that they are to repeat the parade for their Christmas party where they will broadcast live from an animal circus.

The animals used came from Circo Chen, one of the circuses that ANIMAL investigated last year and presented clear evidence about the cruelty happening within it.

ANIMAL contacted SIC the day before the parade to find out exactly what was happening. They told them that no animals would be used in the parade, only inflatable animals.

It is not only SIC who seem to be promoting animal cruelty and protecting their actions. Two other major Portuguese TV stations TVI and RTP, continue to promote bullfighting heavily as do other major national Portuguese newspapers.

“We can’t seem to find any way of making one small positive step” said Moutinho. “There is a serious compassion problem among the Portuguese. Even the veterinary authorities choose not to support us.”

He said the shocking aspect of this whole situation is the lack of progress in Portugal in relation to animal rights compared to the rest of Europe.

“We work with countries all over the world and we all participate in the same campaigns,” said Moutinho, “however, the campaigning has worked in every other country, forcing governments to take legislative steps.”

In Austria, they have put a ban on wild animals in circuses while in the UK, the Animal Welfare Bill was introduced into the House of Lords earlier this year. It is the most significant animal welfare legislation to be introduced in nearly a century.

Those found to be causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal can face up to a year in prison or fined 20,000 pounds sterling.

In Portugal absolutely nothing has been done. Even Spain has been forced to take notice, with the case of the Ayamonte Zoo, close to the Portuguese border, which has been forced to improve its conditions after receiving hundreds of reports from UK holidaymakers.

At a loss at what to do next, ANIMAL and their overseas supporters are currently assessing the situation and evaluating what their next move should be.

 ”We are fighting against the three influential TV stations and numerous national newspapers and are ignored by politicians,” said Moutinho.

“What chance do we have taking on such a force when no one will listen to us?”

To find out more about ANIMAL and the campaign, please visit their websites at or