Bullfights may have their days numbered on television during children’s hours. Up to eleven political parties have registered an amendment to the draft General Law of Audiovisual Communicationcurrently being processed in the Congress of Deputies, to be considered “harmful content” television broadcasts in which “animals are mistreated or killed”which would prevent its broadcast during child protection hours.
These formations are United We Can, Esquerra Republicana, EH Bildu, Junts per Catalunya, PDeCAT, CUP, Más País-Verdes-Equo, BNG, Compromís, Nueva Canarias and Teruel Exists, and the initiative has been promoted by the Parliamentary Association in Defense of Animal Rights (Appdda).
The proposed amendment considers that “retransmissions, previews, announcements, summaries or promotion of shows in which animals are mistreated or killed will be considered harmful content” for the purposes of article 97 of that rule, according to the proposed amendment . “To prevent the harmful effects of bullfighting on children, the Committee recommends that the State party prohibits the participation of children under 18 years of age as bullfighters and as spectators in bullfighting shows”, adds the proposal.
The groups that defend this amendment point out that in the processing of the General Communication Law “the absence of any mention of protection against the exposure of the violence of bullfighting“, something, they remember, that deserved the attention of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in a report on Spain published in 2018, which reviewed compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the country.
The parties consider it “essential” to modify the General Law of Audiovisual Communication in this sense. The amendment, in its motivation, recalls that this measure was already in force for several years in Spain with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as President of the Government, when RTVE resigned in 2006 to broadcast bullfights for “coinciding with the child protection schedule, in addition to its high cost”.
In 2012, with Mariano Rajoy at the head of the Government, the RTVE style manual was modified to eliminate this referencewhich allowed the public corporation to offer a few months later the first bullfight after six years of absence, which caused complaints from animal protection associations, the Independent Council for the Protection of Children (CIPI) and the Association of Communication Users (AUC).