By Humphrey Carter
THE League Against Cruel Sports has launched a campaign this week calling on British tourists coming to Spain and going to Portugal to help them in their bid to stamp out bull fighting. Spokesperson for the LACS, Barry Hugill, told the Bulletin yesterday that recent opinion polls carried out in Spain by Gallup, for example, have shown that 78 percent of Spaniards have no interest in bull fighting and the League Against Cruel Sports, along with its affiliates across the globe, believe now is a good time to start a global campaign. “We're not asking British tourists not to go to Spain or Portugal or even France for that matter, what we are asking them to do however, is to use their holiday money to help promote areas of the countries which are bull fighting free. “There are a large number of towns and regions which no longer hold bull fights and what we are urging holidaymakers to do is, if there is one near by, pay the place a visit and help boost their local economy and in that way they will be helping to promote the anti-bull fighting movement,” he said. “Bull fighting is no longer profitable in most places and we know for a fact that in Spain, it is propped up by local and national government subsidies. “We know that only a fraction of British tourists actually go to a bull fight, so we are asking them to help the “boycott the bloodbath” campaign this summer,” he added. “We are producing a booklet which will list all the bullfight free locations and these should be ready for widespread distribution next year. “We don't envisage this campaign to have an immediate effect, it's going to take time, so we are planning for a lengthy battle,” he said yesterday. The “Boycott the Bloodbath” campaign is the first which actively involves anti-cruel sports and animal welfare organisations across Europe. Last month more than 2'000 demonstrators from all over Europe poured onto the streets of Lisbon to protest at the reopening of the Portuguese capital's bullring. League Against Cruel Sports spokesperson Jordi Casamitjana says “we are trying to pursuade British travellers to spend their euros in towns and cities that have turned their back on bullfighting. “In all of these countries there are so many more activities to enjoy and this is what we want people to do,” he added.
The campaign has the full support and co-operation of at least six Spanish animal welfare groups as well as organisations in France, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Iceland and the United States - many of which are very important tourism markets for Spain. The League's website fully explains what the campaign is all about and also provides information about the various ways in which people can join up and help along with a guide to all of the towns and cities which still promote bullfighting. “In Spain, the bullfighting industry employs 70'000 people, three quarters less than ten years ago,” said Hugill. “It would appear that it is even losing popularity in Spain.”

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