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English Sparks Fly at Portuguese Bullfight

Contacts: Veterinarian Andrew Knight, President, Animals Count, London: 07876436631, info@animalscount.org

Sparks are set to fly when representatives from Animals Count, the first UK political party dedicated to animals, and animal protection organisations join a massive demonstration against an historic bullfight at Lisbon's Campo Pequeno bullring--Portugal's largest--on 17th May 2007 at 19:00.

Far-removed from its traditional roots, modern bullfighting is highly commercialised, with annual ticket sales estimated to exceed 500 million-pounds worldwide. However, the sport is extremely controversial, with bulls often injured and drugged prior to choreographed fights. Concerns about extreme cruelty have led to majority opposition in traditional bullfighting countries such as Spain, nationwide bans in Brazil and Morocco, and bans in several Spanish and Mexican cities, of which Barcelona was the first.

Yet elsewhere, new bullrings are under construction. Lisbon's Campo Pequeno bullring was rebuilt in 2006. On 17th May 2007, a celebration bullfight will be staged there to commemorate its first anniversary. On the same day, at 19:00, a large and vocal anti-bullfighting demonstration will be held there. 25 organisations from Europe and Latin America will join the protest, and will participate in an International Anti-Bullfighting Summit from 17-20 May in Lisbon. The UK political party Animals Count (www.AnimalsCount.org) will be actively participating and will join the call for an EU-wide ban on bullfighting. The European Parliament Written Declaration 0002/2007 (anti-bullfighting) received 211 signatories, thus demonstrating broad support for a ban.

Veterinarian Andrew Knight, who will be attending as the President of Animals Count, stated, "Matadors seek to demonstrate their bravery by inflicting severe wounds on drugged and mutilated animals. In truth, by doing so they display not only their cruelty and cowardice, but also a dearth of compassion and ethics rarely seen, without which they will never be more than grotesque caricatures of men of honour. Such men stain the character of Portugal and any other nation that harbours them."

The participation of 25 anti-bullfighting organisations from Portugal, Spain, France, UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador and Australia look set to make this the largest and liveliest anti-bullfighting demonstration in history.

The two-day International Anti-Bullfighting Summit will conclude with a press conference on Saturday, 19th May, at 7 p.m. (Lisbon time), in the auditorium of the "Rainbow" Business Center, in Rua Amélia Rey Colaço, n.� 40, em Carnaxide (Oeiras) at which progress towards and strategies to further the achievement of a world free from bullfights will be discussed.

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Notes for the editor:

- Animals Count contact information: Andrew Knight, veterinarian, President Animals Count, Director Animal Consultants International: email: info@animalscount.org and cell phone: 078 76436631. Website: www.animalscount.org

- A Written Declaration in the European Parliament is the equivalent of an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons. This way MEPs propose and support issues of specific interest that need to be put onto the agenda.

- The anti-bullfighting summit and demonstration are organised by Animal, Portugal, in conjunction with the UK League Against Cruel Sports and the Anti-Bullfighting Committee of The Netherlands and Belgium. The World Society for the Protection of Animals and SPEAK Political will also be represented from the UK

ANIMAL Portugal, www.Animal.org.pt

Tel/Fax: (00 351) 282 491 216

- Bullfighting fact sheet: http://www.peta.org.uk/factsheet/files/FactsheetDisplay.asp?ID=146


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