According to a new survey commissioned by the Dutch organisation CAS International and published in May 2024, the majority of people in Spain, France and Portugal, the three European countries that still have a bullfighting industry, are against bullfighting and think this harmful tradition should be banned because it causes too much suffering to bulls

The survey was conducted by IPSOS I&O Public on behalf of CAS and found that, among 7500 people (around 2,500 in each country), a great majority of the inhabitants of the three European countries where bullfighting still takes place think that public money should not be spent to support bullfighting and that the European Union should protect the welfare of animals within cultural traditions.

The results show that 77% of all respondents believe that bullfighting causes too much suffering to bulls, 14% are neutral and 6% disagree with the statement. For voters of all political parties in all countries, a majority (ranging between 59 and 99%) believes that bullfighting causes too much suffering to bulls. Portuguese respondents (83%) agree more often with this statement than Spanish (75%) and French (73%) respondents. 

Also, 58% of all respondents agree that bullfighting should be banned, 22% are neutral about it and 17% disagree. French and Portuguese respondents (both 60%) agree more often than Spanish respondents (54%).  None of the political parties in the different countries show a majority against a ban on bullfighting. In all countries, women agree more often than men, ranging from 58 to 68% compared to 50 to 54%. 

A majority of 67% of all respondents do not agree with spending public money to support bullfighting, 17% are neutral about it and 12% agree. In France (67%) and Portugal (71%) respondents disagreed more often with the statement than in Spain (62%). In all countries, women disagree more often than men ranging from 66 to 74% compared to 58 to 67%.

A majority of 65% of all respondents agree that children should be prohibited from attending bullfights, 19% are neutral about it and 12% disagree with the statement. 

France, Portugal and Spain are three of the nine countries in the world with an established bullfighting industry, together with Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and the USA. In several of these countries, there is an active anti-bullfighting movement campaigning for a ban.

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Jordi Casamitjana
“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’.