30 December 2013

Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding
of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Place de Fontenoy 7
75007 Paris

Recognition of Bullfighting as Cultural Heritage

Dear Members of the Committee,

The image of the UN structure represents her commitment to peace, unity, protection and relief of suffering. We understand that UNESCO is committed to the material and immaterial protection, preservation and promotion of cultural treasures of “general interest to humanity” as mentioned under Art.19.2 of your Convention.
We define humanity as more peaceful and elevated than providing amusement by a variety of festive events exclusively dedicated to traditional abuse, torture and killing of the animals involved. We know that such events are harmful to the physical and mental health of participants and witnesses of all ages alike. Bullfighting may unjustly be legalized or condoned but we find no legal, ethical, religious, artistic or educational justification for ritually inflicted suffering.
Given the continuous global efforts of the UN – condemning violence and cruelty – to stop the suffering in conflict zones, we assume that our call to “Stop Suffering” rings a bell at UNESCO.

We are informed that the tradition of bullfighting is presented for recognition by your Committee as Cultural Heritage, presumably defined under Art.2.2.b/c of your Convention.
As we notice in your Convention, your frame of reference on Human Rights includes economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. These human rights aspects are insufficient to assess controversial issues that are clearly detrimental to the rights of animals and/or nature.
In our view Cultural Heritage reaches beyond the Human Rights scope and we trust that UNESCO shares our view that – although it rarely if ever gets priority – humanity and rights include ethical or moral human standards for all species.

Regarding Cultural Heritage we have no objection whatever to culture and tradition per se, but we draw a line beyond dispute at suffering, especially if the suffering is intentional and for amusement.
If suffering is conditional to its sustenance, bullfighting is not meeting any valid standard for globally acclaimed cultural heritage – beside being a tradition – to preserve, let alone honor and promote bullfighting in the general interest of humanity. We call on you to take our argument in consideration.

With kind regards,

Drs P.M. Donker

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Say NO to presence of CHILDREN in bullfights
June 26 2013 taurine fair of profane festivities Sanjoaninas will include CHILDREN

A plea for action - Help say NO to the presence of children in bullfights Don’t be indifferent – take action

On june 26 the taurine fair of the profane festivities of Sanjoaninas will include a bullfight for children.

Please write an e-mail to regional leaders, representatives and local councilors of the Azores so that they ensure that all measures will be taken to prevent this bullfight from taking place. Feel free to use the text below as an example or write your own.

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Ladies and gentlemen,

As it appears the Azores are the focus of attention regarding bullfights on global internet.

We have followed a series of Tauromaquia events on your islands, reflecting a violent disposition of your islanders towards animals.
We get an image of a society that is devoted to scoring a Guiness-book record on bullfight-lovers and bull-killings per capita of your population.

Given this disturbing image of unlimited violence we are not surprised to hear that you are organizing a bullfight for children on June 26.

If so, you are intentionally introducing children to the fun of killing, teaching them to enjoy the torture and suffering of animals.

From that point it is a small step to enjoying destructive behavior to any form of life, be it human, animal or nature. We call that sadism, which is a public mental health problem and a public order threat.
If that is the case we would like to declare the Azores the Nr 1 breeding ground for sadism.

We are saddened by the fact that the Azores are building a very sorry civilization record by its Tauromaquia frenzy. Who wants to visit let alone to live in such a mental desert?

This development is well noted by civilized people who are fed up by a society that is unable to pick up the signals to stop the suffering.

So we call on you to stop this cultural degradation and restore the image of the Azores, making it an attractive place to go and to live.

With kind regards,
Marius Donker

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Portuguese reaction read in :
publicado por Isabel A. Ferreira às June 11, 2013 10:44

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Letter sent June 11, 2013 as reaction to :
Agência de Viagens TopAtlântico


If you want to offer your foreign visitors a touristic “bite” and see them return to the Azores, just feed them your excellent but hardly known Queijo Curado da Ilha Insular.

We strongly advise your company not to promote bullfighting as part of the Sanjoaninas Festival in Angra do Heroísmo between June 21 and 29, 2013.

In the last years we have seen a remarkable number of Tauromaquia events on the Azores - either in bullrings or in your streets – showing the sorry level of amusement on your islands. Local people deliberately creating dangerous situations and inflicting pain and agony on animals or themselves in their “heroic” actions are an embarrassment to your community.

Tourists are not flying all the way to be turned off by seeing primitive islanders committing animal abuse. Civilized foreigners know when “culture” and “tradition” are a travesty of entertainment. They will never return to a place where promoted “festivals” turn into cruelty and suffering.

So to stimulate tourism to the Azores we suggest that you delete bullfights and highlight your local cheese in your travel promotion.

With kind regards,

Marius Donker


Sept 17,2012


Terça-feira, 11 de Setembro de 2012

Article in :

“Dear Antonio Pecas,

I appreciate your caring for Nuno Mata, victim of a bullfight. Of course you will never want this to happen again. As you showed your compassion for Nuno Mata, you are one of us, the people who mourn the victims of bullfights and want to stop it!

A well informed person like you knows that bullfights produce a steady and predictable stream of suffering victims: always the bulls and horses and incidentally - for a change – a man. You also know that people do as they please so we focus on the suffering of the unvoluntary victims, the bulls and horses.

As “Nomen est omen”, I surmise that Nuno Mata loved the killing essence of bullfights, choosing for the risk in participating. I hope you understand that I do not mourn victims of their own voluntary participation in the suffering of the animals involved.

With this Nuno Mata incident I expected you, as doctor sworn by the Hippocratic oath to keep your patients from harm and injustice, to see the light, to join our ranks and abolish the bullfights.

But now I learned that you are not pleased with our efforts to stop the bullfights. Why? I don't see the logic. Please explain why you want to continue the bloodshed and the sorry fates of more Nuno Mata's. “


Subject: Support bullfight ban
Date: June 27, 2007


Dear Mrs Flores,
We fight animal poisoning in particular and support animal protection efforts in general.
We have a special interest in the relation between animal abuse, mental health and social stability as we noted that animal cruelty like bullfighting facilitates violence towards people. Senseless violence is a contemporary mental health and public order problem. It is clear that no Mayor wants his citizens beating up innocent people as part of their “having fun” going out in his city.
In our view the bullfight is the cruelest form of animal abuse as it is the only “game” we know with the sole purpose of death by torture.
We cannot find a shred of justification for the torture of an animal that has not asked to be part of the game, that has been tampered with to reduce the remotest chance to win and that has no escape from the bullring.
We emphasize the point that bullfights – or any other combination of festivities and killing - breeds a notion that killing for fun is socially acceptable or even heroic.
The ritual performance of the acts and their sequence matches the definition of sadism: the infliction of pain for the pleasure of it.
Sadism is a certified mental disorder. A healthy society does not want to have, let alone breed, sadists amongst its citizens.
As participants of the International Anti-Bullfighting Summit in Lisbon on 18-19 May we were informed on the situation in Venezuela. We understood that Venezuela is progressing towards a possible ban on bullfights.
Especially for that reason we voted as Dutch citizens against the draft EU Constitution as its article III-121 condones animal abuse under the label of religious or cultural traditions.
Like for African, Indian or Maori war dances we respect the bullfight preservation of the traditional display of costumes, music, dancing and stabbing but please leave the bulls out of it. We also see a great future for monumental bullrings for operas, concerts and plays.
However, a society that treasures traditional bullfights – or any other animal cruelty - as cultural heritage has a long way to go towards real civilization.
As Venezuelan Member of Congress who values a non-violent society and respect for life, we urge you to ban bullfights to the benefit of public as well as animal welfare.
A ban would be a keystone contribution to the global abolition of animal abuse in general and the cruelest abuse in particular.
We look forward to your reaction.
With kind regards,


Letter to UNESCO :

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006
To: , ,

Subject: UNESCO to reject the proposal for bullfights to be recognised as cultural heritage


To the members of the UNESCO

Subject: Arguments against bullfights

Ladies and gentlemen,

We support animal protection in general.
We have been informed by ANIMAL in Portugal that UNESCO will be approached again to include bullfights in the Cultural Heritage list. So we repeat our arguments as these are still valid.
As we understand such a listing protects or sponsors the cultural object or tradition involved.

We are curious what bullfight-jewels are in need of UNESCO protection.
If any bullring in the world would match the Coliseum we will understand the recognition of a monument, although we wonder why that did not happen before. So we surmise it is about the traditional display of the bullfight. This tradition involves the deliberate torture and subsequent killing of bulls either inside the arena (Spain) or outside the arena (Portugal).

If a mere tradition is the measure we might as well have supported and sponsored crucifixion, witch burning and scalping. History abolished such publicly celebrated violent traditions as very bad habits and not as cultural heritage of humanity. Which is understandable as civilized society regards violence as a public order risk. More advanced societies understand that animal abuse is a potential public (mental) health threat as well.
We are amazed that so few people realize that festivals based on animal cruelty create a joyful atmosphere of "having fun", influencing children in their moral concepts on the value of life.
Witnessing a bullfight either creates disgust and depression, or admiration for perpetrators of animal cruelty.
The nature and sequence of the human acts in bullfights can be defined as sadistic. Sadism is a certified if not contagious mental illness that we do not want to spread.

On the analogy of Indian or African tribal war dances we have no objections to the museological preservation of weapons and costumes and the theatrical display of the artful music, dancing and stabbing. But leave the bulls out of it as they - like any other animal - have never asked to play a role in an animal abusing human game.
We have no objection against the preservation of whatever beautiful or silly traditions as far as they are harmless to people and animals alike. Consequently we are totally against any support of the bullfight, let alone an addition of this traditional game to a cultural heritage list.

With kind regards,