Anti-bullfight activists banned from protesting outside rings

New police regulations are aimed at “preventing possible altercations”

Antonio Lorca
An anti-bullfighting protest in Algemesí, Valencia, in 2009.
An anti-bullfighting protest in Algemesí, Valencia, in 2009.Carles Francesc

Anti-bullfighting activists in Spain are to be prevented from staging protests outside bullrings when fights are being held, in accordance with new instructions that have been set out by police chiefs.

According to the Union of Fighting Bull Breeders (UCTL), police across Spain have been given new protocols laying out the steps to be taken to stop anti-bullfighting demonstrations from taking place during events.

In line with the new rules, a protest was blocked from reaching Seville’s Maestranza bullring on April 18

The decision was adopted following a request filed by bullfighting professional and fan associations, as well as the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, and aims to “prevent possible altercations that could put citizen safety at risk” and “guarantee the smooth running of bullfights,” the UCTL said in a statement.

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In line with the new rules, the organization said it would send the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport a report collating the different actions carried out by anti-bullfighting radicals in recent years, together with some of the messages they have published on the internet.

The new police instructions also include measures to control such online messages, as well as illegal protest announcements made across the social networks.

In accordance with the orders, a protest organized by animal rights group Pacma in Seville on April 18 was blocked from reaching the gates of the city’s Maestranza bullring.

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