Barrancos bullfights to the death unshaken by controversy elsewhere

in News · 30-08-2012 09:18:00 · 10 Comments
Barrancos bullfights to the death unshaken by controversy elsewhere

In Barrancos, bullfights in which the bull is killed were legalised a decade ago, meaning the town is watertight against any attempts to stop the fights from happening. Their popularity among the local community also means that the city will continue to be an exception from the tug-of-war seen throughout the rest of the country for years to come.

“This here is ‘shielded’. They can try as much as they want, here they will find an impassable barrier, the community of Barrancos. Nothing shakes us”, said Barrancos Mayor António Tereno.
Located just a stone’s throw from the Spanish border, Barrancos has long backed fights till the death. In 2002 an exceptional law was created specifically for the town allowing it to practice that type of fight due to its importance as a social tradition. It was not without controversy.
Mayor Tereno told Lusa News Agency how the fights are an intrinsic part of local tradition, and how they are carried out “religiously” by the population of Barrancos.
“Without fights till the death there are no festivities in Barrancos. If you tell any barranquenho that there will be no bullfight then there will be no festivities said 62-year-old José Gavino Garcia, who was born and raised Barrancos.
Transitionally death fights take place in the town every year over the last four days in August.

This, however, generates a huge backlash from protestors, largely animal rights defenders, despite attracting thousands of visitors from all over Portugal.
Between 1990 and 2001 Mayor Tereno says Barrancos faced “more than 100 lawsuits” but that he “won them all” as he always had “reason” on his “side.”
After dodging the law for many years, it was decided in Parliament in 2002 to created a special ‘rule of exception’ law for Barrancos, following which the tradition of killing the bull was legalised.
“It is the only place where till-the-death fights exist in Portugal”, José Gavino Garcia stressed.
The fights this year kicked off on Tuesday, 28 August, and took place until Friday.
Organisers predicted more people would visit this year than last year, including many aficionados from across the border.
Last week a sold-out bullfight took place in Viana do Castelo despite the council having taken court action to try and stop it. Its was hailed a “victory for freedom” by bullfight supporters and went ahead to a maximum capacity crowd despite hundreds of anti-bullfighting and animal rights protestors gathering in the city’s Marina gardens to carry out two demonstrations against it.


we are supposed to be human...what does watching suffering for pleasure say about us as species...not very much good,I think.
also,this cannot be classed as a sport as there is only one outcome...where is the element of chance in that?

by nicky watson from UK on 20-09-2013 06:57:00

estas tradições é para acabar e já!!!!

by MARIA DE LOURDES from Lisbon on 07-12-2012 03:16:00

arrêtez le massacre des animaux

by curien from Beiras on 02-12-2012 01:53:00

It is absolutely disgusting that people think this is acceptable. The poor bulls are suffering and people enjoy it?. It's so wrong and something needs to be done about it. Turns my stomach. Disgusting people.

by Sam from UK on 16-09-2012 11:58:00

If we should preserve our culture, customs and traditions as Adriana says we would still be watching Gladiators! Tradition is used to justify a morbid fascination with blood, not unlike that of the old Roman Empire which was one of the hallmarks of the decadence of the time!

by Arlindo Costa from Porto on 08-09-2012 10:28:00

Backward barbarians who cannot have a party without torturing and killing an animal in public. They should all be chased by a man on a horse with spear...including the cheering women and children! I am sure they would also be very comfortable with public beheadings and hangings. Civilization has not reached some parts of this country unfortunately.

by Lynn from Porto on 07-09-2012 10:31:00

I disagree with Adriana that protesters against bbullfight consist of treehugging hippies alone. Yet Adriana's point is true: these bulls have had a better life -untill the last day- as all animals bred for their meat.

Even so we should consider if animal cruelty can be used as amusement for humans? Probably we should reinstate some prisoners fighting untill one dies, as the old romans did? Many humans are bigger beasts than the beasts themselves after all.

As for cultural traditions... Hanging and beheading where once traditions also, as was burning whiches. Yet these things are abolished as well.

Maybe once there will be a way to have bullfights, where the bull afterwards is helped by a good veterianarian and can spend the rest of a long life overlooking green pastures, maybe even huggung trees.

by Andre from Other on 07-09-2012 08:49:00

The only thing I like about this so called barbaric sport is when the Bull wins.

by John Haigh from Algarve on 05-09-2012 08:48:00

I´m totally against this massacre, while the animal is suffering, those at barrancos who watch, like to watch the animal suffering, despicable, disgusting, but, this is what to expect from the insane people of barrancos, who thinks they are above the law. End this disgusting massacre once and for all.

by anonymous from Porto on 05-09-2012 02:27:00

The tree-hugging hippie lobby try their best to disrupt an activity that brings thousands of tourists and tons of money to the local economy. They even resort to insulting women and children viewing it, something I have witnessed myself. This lobby complain about bullfighting but ignore the first-class conditions the bulls live in since birth and the contribution of the Tauromaquia to the preservation of the environment. This very same lobby also demonstrate their hypocrisy by failing to complain about fishing despite the suffering caused to the fish. Just hope the european courts don't get involved because once they get involved there is always one possible result. This is nothing to do with them and we ought to be free in our own country and to preserve our culture, customs and traditions.

by Adriana from Porto on 01-09-2012 02:47:00
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