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Thursday, 21 September, 2000, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Fighting the bullfighters
Matador with bull in the ring
Bullfighting is a national sport in Spain
A British animal rights campaigner, whose wife was gored to death by a fiesta bull, is leading activists in a new European campaign against Spanish bullfighting. Angus Crawford from BBC Radio 4's PM programme reports.

The protest began amongst the chic cafes and street sellers of Barcelona's most cosmopolitan street, Las Ramblas.

More than 200 people from six different countries held banners and chanted "bullfighting - the stain on Spain".

By the time they reached the end of the historic street, their numbers had swelled to 500, led by a protester dressed as a matador.

"Everyone was so shocked, it was such a powerful lobby against bullfighting," said veteran campaigner Tony Moore. Marching for him was especially important as this is the first year of campaigning without his wife Vicky.

Vicky Moore
Vicky Moore: dedicated animal rights protestor

She was seriously gored by a bull while leading a protest at a fiesta in 1995 and died of her injuries in February after years of operations.

Mr Moore's enthusiasm for campaigning remains undimmed.

Representatives of seven animal rights groups from six European countries have launched a new group, APACE international, an alliance for the prevention of animal cruelty in entertainment.

Animal rights successes in northern Europe mean that bullfighting is now a major target for the activists.

"We've had the fur, we've had animal testing, we know that fox hunting is getting very near to the end of it's life. It's made us think it's time we actually got together to do something about bullfighting," said Mr Moore.

"We've had different organisations in the past, but this is the first one which is not just lip service," he asserted.

Matador is gored at bullfight
Matador is gored at bullfight

Manuel Cases, a member of the Spanish animal rights group ADDA, said: "We have been advancing in cosmetics-testing, etceteras - but animal welfare hasn't advanced at all in popular fiestas, blood fiestas and bullfighting."

"We think it is just the right moment to create a body which can protect these animals which are used for entertainment", he added.

He has been an animal rights campaigner in Spain for 25 years and wants the EU to overturn opt-out clauses in cruelty conventions which allow bullfighting for cultural reasons.

He said: "You can be sure that bullfighting will be finished some day. In a year, 10 years or 50 or anytime, but it is going to finish.

"Future generations are going to say, look, look, I can't imagine what we were doing with bulls in the ring."

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