In 2001, the Campo Pequeno bullring, the only one in Lisbon, was closed for refurbishment. It was in an advanced state of disrepair and bullfights in the city were declining in importance.
Five years and 75 million euros later, the reopening of this bullring will take place on May 18th. 06, with not only an illustrious “race-card” of fighters, but also the Portuguese animal rights group ANIMAL.
They will be organising the most important demonstration of the year against bullfighting in Portugal.
In order to keep bullfighting going in a viable way – since it’s on the decline in both Spain and Portugal – the company built a shopping centre at this site, with restaurants, shops, cinemas, a bullfighting museum and large underground carpark. Each time people shop, visit the cinema, or even park here, they will be giving money to the bullfighting business and helping this blood festival to continue. So, as well as joining ANIMAL at this protest, people are being asked to boycott the commercial centre and all its services.
Tui, the ANIMAL bull mascot, is saying
“Salve os Touros dos Toureiros” – Save the Bulls from the Bullfighters
– and the public is being asked to spread the message that bullfighting is cruel to both bulls and horses and has no place in a civilised, modern society. ANIMAL is organising free transport from other Portuguese towns to make this a big, noticeable protest against cruelty.
2000 campaigners protested against this bullring in Lisbon.