Brazil President Michel Temer urged to veto vaquejadas bill

Cruel bullfighting event deemed unconstitutional by Supreme Court

Humane Society International

  • The Brazilian Supreme Federal Court has found vaquejadas unconstitutional because of the cruelty involved. Toni Scott/istockphoto

Seeking to sustain the Supreme Federal Court decision that vaquejadas, a type of bullfighting event prevalent in Northeastern Brazil, are unconstitutional, Humane Society International is urging Brazilian President Michel Temer to veto a bill that would protect this violent, cruel event as a cultural heritage.

Kitty Block, vice president of HSI, said: “Vaquejadas and other events that cause harm and anguish to animals for the sake of entertainment have no place in modern society. The Brazilian Supreme Federal Court has found vaquejadas unconstitutional because of the cruelty involved – including chasing bulls on horseback and pulling the distraught animals down by their tails at high speeds. Now we urge President Temer to protect the Supreme Court’s decision by vetoing bill number 24/2016, a backwards bill aimed at justifying cruelty as culture. It’s time to put vaquejadas in the history books, where they belong.”

In the letter, delivered today to President Temer, Block explains that by vetoing the bill, he has “a real opportunity to make a positive difference for animals in your country, to send a strong message to Brazilian citizens and to the wider global community that Brazil will no longer tolerate cruelty to animals for entertainment.”


  • On October 6, 2016, the Supreme Court of Brazil ruled, by a vote of 6 to 5, that vaquejadas are unconstitutional following a challenge by Ceará State.
  • Article 225 of the Federal Constitution bans practices that subject animals to cruelty.
  • Article 32 of the Environmental Crimes Law (Law n. 9.605/98) criminalizes the practice of acts of abuse, mistreatment, injury or mutilation of animals.

A full copy of the letter to President Temer is available here. Read more about vaquejadas and the Supreme Court decision here.   

Media contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras,, +1 301-721-6440