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Spanish TV Network Bans Bullfighting

“The Bullfight” – by Edouard Manet, 1867

Spain’s largest TV network has announced that it will no longer broadcast bullfights, explaining that this in order to protect children from viewing violence.

The network, RTVE, lists the new ban in its stylebook under the heading “Violence with Animals.” It notes that “Children can view violence exerted over animals with anxiety and we must therefore avoid it by all means.”

In July, 2010, the region of Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, banned bullfighting altogether. The Canary Islands, another region of Spain, outlawed the practice in 1991.

In removing bullfighting altogether from its broadcast schedule, RTVE is largely just codifying an already existing practice. The network has not shown any bullfights for several months, largely because of low audience ratings.