Mexico City considers ban on bullfighting
Apr 24, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish
Mexico is considered the second most important centre for bullfighting in the world, with a tradition that dates back more than 500 years to when Spain first colonised the country.
Many people feel passionately about the sport, saying it is part of their culture of heritage.
But with about 9,000 bulls being killed in the country each year, many others have questioned whether bullfighting should continue.
Now, authorities in the capital, Mexico City, are considering implementing a law to ban it.
read what BYE-BYE BULLFIGHTING says about it:
Biased video about possible bullfighting ban in Mexico City
Will the “bastion” fall? asks Al Jazeera in a recently broadcast piece about bullfighting and a proposed ban in Mexico City. Apart from assessing the actual chances of a ban I was interested to find out if the report was balanced.
So what’s new? Nothing really. Rachel Levin does mention that some people now have their doubts as to whether bullfighting is such a good idea, given that 9,000 bulls are killed every year. She also shows some pictures of an anti-bullfighting demonstration, but it soon transpires that this is yet another imbalanced piece of broadcasting about the cruel blood sport.
The mere facts mentioned in the video support pro bullfighting arguments. If someone without any prior knowledge of bullfighting hears that ‘there are 225 bull rings and over 20 bullfighting schools in the country where students as young as five train to become a matador’ he or she would most probably think that bullfighting is indeed a tradition and part of the Mexican culture and therefore cannot be banned, This is of course as wrong for Mexico as it is for Spain.There is everything you need for a good story, and a familar one. You get a brave local politican who wants to impose a ban: “We cannot allow bloody traditions like bullfighting to be part of our culture” (City Congresswoman Aleida Alavez Ruiz). Then there is the activist who says matadors are allowed to treat the bulls as they please.
You then get a strong indicator of where the report is heading. An active matador ensuring the viewer that bullfighting is part of the Mexican culture (ie has to stay no matter what), a young female trainee saying that it would ‘kill her dream’ if she wasn’t allowed to fight and last not least the matador trainer pointing to the “fact” that a ban would be bad for the (local) economy: “It generates a lot of money for a lot of people” (Matador Jose Fernandez).
We have all heard these arguments before and yes of course, jobs would be lost if bullfighting was banned, but on the other hand tourists might then come to the city exactly for that reason. Furthermore, arenas can be transformed into arts centres or shopping malls generating even more jobs and revenue. Barcelona is a perfect example for this development.
Back to the report, at least we heard that other South American countries, such as Chile and Argentina, are one step ahead and outlawed bullfighting on a national level long ago.
But, sadly, the Al Jazeera video is yet another report which focuses on the aficionados’ side of the story. It also emphasises the apparent disadvantages of a ban for a group of people rather than the advantages for animal welfare and society as a whole.
Source: BYE-BYE BULLFIGHTING