On 3rd May 2024, Spain scrapped the traditional annual bullfighting award, which was a 30,000-euro government cheque given to famous bullfighters or cultural organisations related to the bullfighting tradition.

The Culture Ministry Ernest Urtasun, from left-wing party Sumar (traditionally anti-bullfighting),  said it based its decision to abolish the award on the “new social and cultural reality in Spain.” He posted on X, “There is a social majority of Spaniards that is increasingly aware of animal welfare. With the suppression of the National Bullfighting Award, we take an important step to adapt our institutions to the Spain of 2024.”

In an interview on RAC1 collected by Servimedia, the Minister of Culture reiterated that his decision to stop the National Bullfighting Award comes from the fact that “there is a majority of society that does not tolerate animal abuse, much less that it is awarded public money. ” He also said that only 1.9% of the Spanish population attends bullfights, and while support for bullfighting is minimal, support for animal protection causes is increasing. 

In Spain, the average bullfighting aficionado has been getting older for decades, and the number of bullfighting festivals dropped by a third between 2010 and 2023. Spain is one of the nine countries of the world with an established bullfighting industry (Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, USA, France, Spain, and Portugal), and one where the Spanish-style bullfighting practised in eight of them (which involves the killing of the bull on the bullring arena), was created in the 18th century. All the other countries are also experiencing a decline in popularity and an increase in opposition. Several Mexican states have already banned it, and Colombia may be very close to doing so. In Spain itself, Catalonia banned bullfighting in 2010, and although the Spanish Constitutional Court repealed the ban years later, bullfighting has not returned. 

“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’.