CAS International (Comité Anti Stierenvechten) is the biggest organization in the world which works exclusively on the abolition of bullfighting and cruel fiestas (festivals) during which bulls and other animals are tortured. Together with our colleague organizations, we want to end this animal abuse as soon as possible.
More information about CAS International.
Bullfighting is one of the most cruel forms of animal abuse. Every year, more than 250,000 bulls and cows are tortured and killed worldwide during bullfights and similar events.
Also during fiestas ('village festivals'), tens of thousands of bulls and other animals are severely maltreated.
More information about bullfighting and fiestas.
Corridas de Toros
Corridas de Toros are bullfights in bullrings where 4-6 year old bulls are used. Only professional matadors or toreros (bullfighters) who did the alternativa are allowed to 'fight' the bull in this kind of bullfights, although other 'assistants' called subalternos also take part.
During a typical corrida de toros six bulls are killed in the following manner:
First, all bullfighters and horses make a 'lap of honour' through the arena to introduce themselves to the public. They greet the presidente and leave the ring.
Then the bull is released into the ring, after which the matador and several other toreros (bullfighters) start 'testing' the bull; they want to see how he responds to them and how he moves, and start exhausting him. They lure him with the capote (cape) and make 'short passes'. The bull follows these passes, while his body is not built for this. His muscles and bones are overloaded and the animal is already weakened after this act.
After this, one or two horse riders (picadores) with a long lance called pica enter the arena. The task of a picador is to cut the neck muscles of the bull, so that he will be unable to lift his head anymore and loses lots of blood. Some horses, who are covered by protective armour and blinded with a cloth, are injured during this part. Many tourists think this is the most cruel part of a bullfight, since it is obvious that both bulls and horses suffer during bullfights.
In the video below, you can see images of a picador 'working' on a bull.
The picador(es) leave(s) the bullring and the banderillero (regularly the matador himself) enters. He makes sure the bull loses as much blood as possible by sticking three pairs of banderillas in his neck and back. The banderillas are stuck in the bull's hide and with every movement they cause severe pain.
The bull is now very weakened by his severe wounds. Now it's the matador's turn. It is his job to kill the bull with a sword and to perform a series of poses and pases with his muleta, which the already exhausted bull is charging.
When the bull is not able to charge anymore, the matador changes his sword for a sharp one called the estoque, and then has to kill the bull with one strike in the heart. This often goes wrong: the matador stabs the bull several times, sometimes in its lungs. Often, the bull suffocates in his own blood. Because of that, he coughs up lots of blood and finally collapses.
When the bull is on the floor or collapses, a different man stabs a dagger (puntilla) in the back of the bull’s neck in order to finally kill him. If the bull does not lay down after the estoque, a long sword called el verdugo is used instead. Often, the bull will only be paralysed and experiences the bullfighters cutting off his ears and/or tail as a reward for the matador. At the end, the bull is dragged out of the bullring by a team of mules or horses, after which he is taken to the butcher.
Sometimes a bull's life is 'spared', because according to the presidente, he was 'exceptionally brave' (this is called indulto). However, these bulls suffer from severe external and internal wounds and are 'patched up' to be used as breeding bulls. These animals must be very traumatized and as breeding bulls, unfortunately make sure that more bulls are 'produced' to be tortured and killed in the bullring.
Tips for tourists
CAS International has made a list of tips for tourists, so you can also help us abolish bullfighting and other cruel events with bulls and other animals as a tourist.
The main tip: never go to a bullfight or a cruel fiesta, like the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona!
Please take a look here for more tips.
Videos of bullfights, cruel fiestas and protests of CAS International and others.
In the CAS photo album, you can find photos of protests, bullfighting and cruel fiestas.
CLICK HERE for the photo album.