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February 24, 2011

Campaigning Against Bullfighting in Mexico

Seizing the moment

Humane Society International

  • Gustavo Larios receiving recognition of behalf of AMEDEA. Lotería Nacional para la Asistencia Pública (Lotenal)

  • HSI-sponsored anti-bullfighting billboard in Mexico City. AMEDEA

by Alexandra Rothlisberger

In a country like Mexico, with weak animal cruelty laws and a lack of enforcement, conducting a campaign requires strategizing. You have to do your research, you have to build your case, but most importantly, you need to wait for the right moment. Now is such a moment for action against bullfighting, as a ban on the practice is considered in the nation's capital, Mexico City.

Partnering for progress

In early 2008, HSI joined forces with local organization AMEDEA to petition Mexican television station Canal Once to stop broadcasting "Toros y Toreros," a program focused on bullfighting. We conducted a poll, asking Mexican citizens if they were aware that their taxes subsidized the promotion of bullfighting and if they were comfortable with this. The poll revealed that 88 percent opposed the use of public funds to support such cruelty to animals.

We also placed anti-bullfighting billboards in Mexico City and condemned the participation of children, sometimes as young as 11, in novilladas as bullfighters in training.

Receiving notice

Now, we are witnessing tangible advancement as our partner’s efforts gain the attention of both new legislators and seasoned politicians interested in ending these bloody spectacles in Mexico. The National Lottery of México, Lotería Nacional para la Asistencia Pública (Lotenal), recently honored AMEDEA’s work by printing the organization’s logo on lottery tickets sold in every state. HSI attended an event celebrating this, joined by important members of the Mexican government—from the Senate to city legislators—and representatives of the Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH) (National Commission for Human Rights). Various animal welfare organizations also participated in the festivities, as did celebrities of the Mexican farandula.  

News of the special lottery tickets received a fair amount of press coverage, both before and after the event. HSI is confident that this recognition is a big step for the welfare of animals in Mexico, and especially welcomed appreciation of the work that is being done to stop bullfighting there.

The road ahead, step by step

HSI and AMEDEA have put together a petition urging the Head of Government and representatives of the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District to vote in favor of a ban on bullfighting in Mexico City. If such a vote passes and the ban is put in place, then we are confident that more cities and eventually complete municipalities and states will eventually follow suit.

You can help

Sign the petition to ban bullfighting in Mexico City.

Then, take further action to support our anti-bullfighting campaign in Mexico and elsewhere.