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Denver bullfight rumors not confirmed, but protests ensue

A matador stands before a dead bull following the conclusion of a bullfight in Spain
A matador stands before a dead bull following the conclusion of a bullfight in SpainCadiz Rispera De Protesta En Protesta

Rumors that a Spanish bull fight is going to be held in Denver next week have not been confirmed, but protests against animal cruelty will certainly be a part of the National Western Stock Show. An obscure post on Facebook last week was linked to a Spanish language website called Cadiz Respira claimed a Spanish-style bull fight would be held in Denver on Sunday, January 12.

The site included a letter to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock calling for the allegedly-schedule bullfight to be halted due to its cruel nature. Mayor Hancock’s office acknowledged the Examiner’s inquiry this week, but had not yet responded by the time of publication.

The Stock Show schedule shows no listing for a Spanish-style bull fight on January 12 or any other day of the show, which officially kicked off yesterday and will continue with full schedules of daily events through January 26. The events include hog roping, many different rodeos and other traditional show events that have been popular in the Western US and Mexico since the 1800s. Rodeos events typically do include events where people are in the ring with a bull in a battle of wits. Members of the Colorado Animal ACTion Network will be staging large, coordinated protests at this weekend’s major rodeo attractions.

“This will also be peaceful outreach for the billions of animals that are routinely abused in food production and also for the animals that are so severely abused in rodeo events”, says an official post on the Animal ACTion Network’s website.

The protest is being supported by the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, which is providing large banners as well as participants. The first protest will commence tomorrow at 6:00 pm at the Denver Coliseum at 4600 Humboldt Ave. The growing number of animals sanctuaries in Colorado, and the growing population of animals sympathizers shows shift on Colorado culture. Stock Show events rarely drew opposition crowds 20 years ago, even as the animal rights movement had taken root in Colorado.

Criticism of traditional Spanish bullfighting is on the rise world-wide, and Spain is no exception to this trend. Some provinces have banned the activity, which is referred to there as a sport. Catalonia is one such province, where the organization Igualidad Animal, roughly translated as “Equality for Animals” has a powerful political following. The Denver Post reported on the declining influence of bullfighting last year.

In November, the Post followed up with a new story about how the Spanish government had passed a law that enshrined bullfighting as an official symbol of national heritage, after a petition by over a half-million people was submitted, with the support of the nation’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Nevertheless, officials in Spain admit that the regional government of Catalonia would have grounds to sue in court in order to uphold their ban on bullfighting.