A draft law to forbid state-owned TV station RTP from broadcasting bullfights has been presented in Parliament by animal rights party PAN.
PAN has also put forward two other proposals – one to end the public-funding of bullfights and the other to prevent minors (under-18s) being allowed to take part in them.
The party that has one MP in parliament claims bullfights on national TV can cause “serious effects” on youngsters who watch them, “potentially compromising the development of their personalities”.
The party also considers bullfighting to be an “economically unviable” activity that should not be supported directly or indirectly by state funds.
Left Bloc (BE) MP Pedro Soares has said his own party is also working on anti-bullfighting proposals.
“The belief that a State should not promote shows that consist of violence against animals is gaining support,” he said, cited by ionline.
As ionline explains, this won’t be the first time these views reach Parliament. Four years ago, similar proposals by BE and the Green Party (PEV) were presented and subsequently rejected.
This far, other parties have refused to be drawn on whether or not they agree with the new proposals.
Meantime, Portugal’s bullfighting federation (FPT) refutes the allegation that bullfighting as a tradition is “in decline”.
“Last year there was a slight increase in spectators,” FPT president Hélder Milheiro said, adding that around 500,000 people attend bullfights in Portugal every year.
He also denied the negative effects of bullfighting on children – suggesting instead that the events promote “courage, solidarity and respect”.
Milheiro added that bullfighting receives “minimal” support from the State and generates money for the country.