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June 15, 2012

Humane Society International Commends Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro for Supporting Culture over Cruelty

Humane Society International

  • Thanks to this initiative, true expressions of culture have now gained a new platform and many bulls will be spared from a cruel death. Fernando Alonso Herrero

BOGOTA — Humane Society International supports Bogota, Colombia Mayor Gustavo Petro’s initiative to transform Bogota’s bullfighting arena into a platform for cultural and educational events that exclude torture, cruelty and death.

“We celebrate the news and commend Petro’s decision to replace the cruel blood sport with cultural events that will benefit the public and safeguard the welfare of the animals,” said Alexandra Rothlisberger, HSI program manager for Latin America. “We urge mayor Petro to stand firm in his decision; putting an end to cruelty is non-negotiable.”

Bogota’s mayor initially sought to ban the killing of the bull in the arena while allowing the spectacle to remain alive. HSI is pleased to note that his decision ends the whole bullfight, not just the final killing. The amount of stress, abuse and cruelty the bull suffers prior to their death is enormous, enduring the piercing of their neck with barbed lances and the multiple stabs with wooden sticks with spiked ends. The bull is tortured throughout the spectacle and the public, children included, is witness to the cruelty. In some cases, the bull is still conscious when removed from the arena.


  • Bullfighting is already banned by law in many countries, including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Italy and the United Kingdom.
  • According to ex-matador, D. Alvaro Múnera, bullfighting is “a cruel tradition, where the victim first off is innocent and where it is savagely tortured and massacred, as a tradition it is ethically inconceivable.”
  • Zoologist Jordi Casamitjana stated, “all aspects of any bullfight, from the transport to the death, are in themselves causes of suffering.”


Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras, +1 301-721-6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org

Humane Society International is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people, or one of every 28. HSI is creating a better future for animals and people through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the web at hsi.org

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