On 7th November 2022, animal rights activists protested in front of the National Service of Health, Agri-Food Safety and Quality (Senasica) offices in Mexico, accusing this federal government department of “allowing the celebration of bullfighting shows” because they claim that such activities are illegal according to Mexican law. The international animal protection organisations AnimaNaturalis Mexico and CAS International, claim that bullfighting is illegal throughout the national territory because the federal animal protection legislation that exists does not exempt bulls in bullfights.

Article 19 of the Federal Law on Animal Health states that animals must be provided with “food, hygiene, transport and shelter and, where appropriate, appropriate training” to “avoid their stress and ensure their life and health.” Also, article 20, section I, states that animals should not experience “fear, anguish, discomfort, pain, and unnecessary injury.” Article 23 states that the slaughter “of any animal not intended for human consumption shall only be justified if its welfare is compromised by suffering caused by accident, illness, physical incapacity or senile disorders.” Bulls in bullfighting are tortured to death in blatant disregard to all these articles, and the activists claim they are not specifically exempted from these laws (which are mandatory for federal, state and municipal authorities). 

Despite the organisations having complained to the authorities about this, requesting to undertake inspections and document what happens in bullfights, at the time of the protest they had not received any response. They say that if Senasica does not respond to their concerns, they will carry on more protests.

Bullfighting is already banned in several Mexican states and municipalities, and even Mexico City will not stage bullfights this year as there is an ongoing legal process about their constitutionality. However, there are other states where the practice remains popular, so a federal intervention may be needed to stop them.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.