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Bullfighting faces uncertain future in Spain

Wednesday 19 Oct 2016 5:00 a.m.

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Being a brave matador, facing off against a deadly bull, has been the dream of Spanish men for over 300 years. But that dream may soon be over.

According to the Humane Society International, each year 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights.

And while more than 1500 bull fighting events have already been held in Spain this year, only 19 percent of Spanish adults support them, while 58 percent don't.

This recently sparked one of the country's biggest anti-bullfighting rallies, which saw one of Spain's most controversial festivals, Toro de la Vega, ban the killing of bulls. 

They're not the first. The Canary Islands banned it in 1991, followed by Catalonia six years later.

Last year, Madrid's mayor said she was cutting a $94,000 annual subsidy to the city's famous Lalanda bullfighting school. Spanish cities Valencia and Alicante did the same.

And it's an expensive business for matadors. A traditional bullfighting costume costs more than $4,000. Organising a bullfight can be up to $6,000. Many aspiring matadors can't afford it unless they have a sponsor.

Sponsors can receive around 10 to 15 percent of a fight - in some cases the winning prize is around $400,000.

But now since most Spaniards see red when they think of bullfighting, many sponsors think it's not worth the investment.


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