The Judicial Court of Faro, in the Algarve on September 5 08 ruled rodeos as cruel and unlawful activities in Portugal, prohibiting a rodeo which was scheduled to take place in the context of an equestrian festival in the small and rural town of Estói, within the village of Faro. This rodeo was part of the newly-started National Championship of Rodeo, promoted by a rodeo company which has started to act in Portugal this year.

Responding positively to the injunction brought by ANIMAL against the rodeo in order to judicially stop it, the Court of Faro considered proven, and has admitted as validated facts, that rodeos are spectacles which involve the cruel infliction of severe pain and suffering to the bulls, calves and horses which are victims of these brutal events, and that these frequently become gravely injured when used in rodeos. The court admitted that the kind of acts perpetrated against animals in rodeos may eventually kill them, as a result of the extreme violence to which the animals are subjected. This court has also responded positively to the claims made by ANIMAL about the unlawful standing of rodeos in Portugal, under the existing Animal Protection Law, given that these are not in any way accepted or permitted by this or any other Portuguese law, while they include acts of cruelty which, by their consequences for the animals, this law prohibits. Based on this, the judge decided to prohibit the rodeo that was scheduled to take place in Estói.

… This rodeo was not only licensed by the municipality of Faro – it was supported by this municipality and by two other agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture, which makes the situation even more seriously outrageous, given that the Portuguese State was supporting an unlawful activity that a Portuguese Court has prohibited on the grounds of its violent nature and the way it collides with the existing Animal Protection Law.

The Court of Faro has also notified all the local and national authorities of this prohibition, requesting their intervention to ensure that the court decision will be enforced… The judge specifically informed the organisers of the rodeo that, in case they do not respect the court order, they will be condemned to pay a 15.000,00 euros fine and will also face criminal charges for disrespecting an explicit court order, as stated in the Portuguese Civil Procedure Code.

Miguel Moutinho.