Wednesday, 18 October 2017
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BullDeadBoth human animals and non-human animals are gifted with a nervous system, more or less developed, which allows them to feel and be conscious of their environment and to be able to distinguish what is pleasurable, dangerous, aggressive and painful, (writes Vasco Reis)

These beings all experience sensations, emotions and feelings in a similar manner. This being the case they can use the mechanisms of fight and flight, without which, they would not be able to survive. Therefore fear and pain are essential for survival.

It is said that in some cases and without the aid of medication, animals may not feel fear and pain if they are threatened or hurt, this is a very ignorant theory, or just denial of the plain truth.

Science reveals that in the anatomic, physiologic and neurological system of the bull, the horse and man, among other mammals are extremely similar.

The reactions of these species are similar when they are threatened, frightened or hurt. Common sense tells us this, and science confirms it.

After this explanation, imagine the suffering that a human would undergo if he or she were put in place of the bull, captured and lead to the “Calvary” of a bullfight.

What would be the ethic conclusion?

Humans (bullfighters) should not inflict suffering towards other equally sensitive beings, such as bulls and horses, which they would not subject themselves to.

In the Portuguese bullfights, it is important to mention the claustrophobia and the panic that the bull experiences from when it is taken violently from its field and transported in a confined space to the ring, and how afterwards it is constantly abused with the intention of weakening it physically and emotionally before it is led out into the ring.

Once in the ring, the bull is then subjected to much provocation and torture and afterwards comes more suffering at the end, with the always violent and painful extraction of the spears, tearing and striking the skin to free the banderilla.

When it is all over, the animal is placed in a vehicle and transported to the slaughterhouse, worn out, hurt and febrile, in a severe toxic metabolic acidosis, which makes it very sick, until after a few days death finally frees it from its suffering.

The horse suffers from exhaustion and terrible psychological tension from being used as a vehicle, and from being dominated and encouraged by force to confront the bull; when the horse’s natural instinct is to run away from it.

With the heavy training, the spurs which hurt and wound it, the bits in the mouth and the chain around the jaw, which is a painful way to overpower it, the horse risks death in the ring either by syncope (heart attack) or because of the wounds inflicted on it.

It is difficult, if not impossible to believe that bullfighters and those who enjoy bullfighting can say they love bulls and horses, when they subject them to such violence, risks and suffering.

I can’t help but wonder why such a violent activity based on the public suffering of these animals, is allowed to continue, legally and authorized by law or even how it has fans and is applauded and glorified by some.

A true democracy does not permit torture. Do you?
Vasco Reis


Here is a public petition to halt the bullfighting in Albufeira:

Here is the petition text:


The city of Albufeira DOES NOT have a tradition of bullfighting. There is no livestock, there is no history connected to bulls and horses!

The bullring that exists in Albufeira is incomplete, it is na unmaintened building that never got to be completed! It does not bring dignity to our city, on the contrary, it is a building in a central place that is an architectural and structural stain!

An academic study conducted in 2007 at the University Institute of Lisbon, at the request of an animal rights association, showed that 56.1% of the people surveyed in a national survey responded to a legal ban on bullfighting. An evolved and developed society can not cope with the gratuitous violence of living, aware beings, who have the ability to feel when a fly lands on their backs, let alone when they are stabbed with metal in flesh! A legal status for animals has recently been created and approved, recognizing their nature as sentient beings, which gives them rights! Bullfighting is clearly a setback in the process of civilizational progress in society, and is a clear breach of the new legal status of animals!

We want Albufeira to be a city free of these cruel and bloody demonstrations, true tortures, which in no way represent the will and ways of the citizens of Albufeira, and which does not attract the great majority of tourists, and often the viewings are almost empty! Everywhere, the tendency is for the abolition of this type of demonstrations: the well-known online booking company TripAdvisor issued a statement on October 11, 2016 announcing that it will discontinue the sale of tickets for specific tourist experiences during witch travelers come into physical contact with wild animals and endangered species in captivity.

The tourism giant still refers to bullfighting as one of the businesses that are excluded from its listing of offers. Analyzing the official statistics of recent years we have seen that since 2010 bullfighting has lost more than 53.1% of its audience. It means that bullfighting has an increasingly insignificant weight in the panorama of the live shows in Portugal. Such manifestations of suffering and abuse are unworthy of a modern and civilized society!

This petition is for the abolition of bullfighting in Albufeira and for the requalification and transformation of the bullring into a space of true cultural manifestations, such as music shows, sporting events, etc.


Vasco Reis, studied in Hanover, Germany, and worked as a vet 7 years in Switzerland and 10 years in Germany.

Reis followed the world of Portuguese bullfighting closely when he was the municipal vet in Praia da Vitória, Ilha Terceira of the Azores, between 1986 and 1989.

Today he is actively retired and living in Aljezur. He has 14 cats and 3 dogs, and is a founder member of an association which protects animals and whose persistence helped in the abolition of bullfighting in the Aljezur council. He recently visited a summit in Bogotá, where great progress in the abolishment of bullfighting in Latin America were reported.


+1 #8 Kerry Bartell 2017-10-11 06:29
Bull fighting is a barbaric act carried out by barbarians and has no place in this modern, civilised world.
+2 #7 Linedsay Goldmann 2017-10-01 13:47
Brilliant.Thank you for your article. Now send it to every newspaper in the EU. If some one inflicted such torture to a domestic animal, they would be fined. But do that to a bull, they pay money to go and see it being done. And this in the 21st Century! !?
+3 #6 Tops 2017-10-01 09:08
It's a well known fact that humans that inflict suffering and pain on Animals are likely to be violent to other human beings.
+11 #5 Su Davis 2017-09-27 09:59
A brilliant piece Vasco, thank you so much for expressing our point of view and that of many many people who hate this barbarism and feel it has no place in today's world.
+11 #4 Lorraine muddyman 2017-09-27 07:17
This should be published in the uk media newspapers!! Let the British know what is going on over here!! Put pressure on!! Keep up the pressure angels!!
+11 #3 Elsa 2017-09-27 01:15
So well written. It is not acceptable that this cruelty towards animals, sentient beings, still exist not only in Portugal but also on the very few countries in the world where bulls are tortured for people entertainment. It is shamefull and must stop now. Yesterday was already late!
+13 #2 Alice Tromm 2017-09-25 00:36
I hope that this cruel torture will stop here and in Spain.
It is not a sport. If cattle were slaughtered this way, the SEPNA will step in.
+16 #1 Catrine Danièle 2017-09-24 17:50
It makes me soo happy that this issue is finally getting some coverage.
Thank you for publishing.. It is time time to stop this unnecessary torture !!!
And step in the 21st century as it is now 2017! !!