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Jun 20, 2009

Following a formal complaint filed by ANIMAL with the Child Protection Services, French-Mexican 11 year old bullfighter Michelito Lagravére was banned from performing at last night´s bullfight at Lisbon´s Campo Pequeno Bullring, in Portugal
The “bezerrada” (a bullfight with a calf of 1 to 2 years old, weighing around 250kgs) was scheduled to take place last night, at Lisbon´s Campo Pequeno Bullring, in Portugal, at 11:45 p.m. The so-called “star” of the bullfight was the French-Mexican 11 year old bullfighter Michelito Lagravére, whose participation in a series of bullfights in Portugal over this summer was making headlines and sadly exciting the Portuguese bullfighting lovers.
However, Portugal´s Child Protective Services stepped in, following a formal complaint filed by Portuguese animal protection organisation ANIMAL, which has denounced the situation to the Attorney General´s office, to the Authority for the Labour Conditions and to the Child Protective Services of Lisbon. In this complaint, ANIMAL highlighted the dangers for the child that this bullfight with a calve would pose and stressed out how this would infringe the existent labour legislation protecting children from child labour, and particularly protecting children who participate in cultural activities and spectacles from any possible dangers this can pose to them. ANIMAL also pointed out that, under the article 32nd of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, of which Portugal is a signatory state, it is not lawful for a child to participate in a bullfight.
Yesterday, at 17:00, about 7 hours before the bullfight, the Lisbon Center Child Protective Service notified the bullfighting promoters that the participation of Michelito Lagravére in this bullfight was not authorised.
As other bullfights with this child-bullfighter are scheduled to take place in Portugal over the next weeks and months during the Summer, ANIMAL is now multiplying its efforts to prevent this from happening at any bullring of the country.
Last year, in France, the Attorney General´s office of two towns in the South of France, Fontvielle and Arles, also prohibited the young bullfighter of participating in bullfights in these towns, following complaints filed by the French anti-bullfighting organization Alliance Anti-Corrida.
In Portugal, bullfighting is experiencing the strongest opposition ever seen, with ANIMAL securing consecutive victories and gaining terrain in campaigning to abolish bullfighting in this Southern European country.
Last year, a Lisbon Court banned RTP, the state-owned TV station, from broadcasting a bullfight before 10:30 p.m. and without displaying a permanent sign indicating it as a violent spectacle, following an injunction brought by ANIMAL. The court has also deemed bullfighting as a cruel and violent spectacle unsuitable for children and susceptible of negatively affecting the moral and psychological development of children and teenagers. Also last year, big international companies, such as Ben & Jerry´s, KODAK, Melka and Carlsberg, ordered their Portuguese branches to step away from any commercial association that they had with bullfighting.
This year, following an intensive anti-bullfighting campaigning work carried by ANIMAL, the Mayor of the Northern capital of Viana do Castelo declared this city Portugal´s first anti-bullfighting city. Subsequently, the mayors of Braga, Cascais and Sintra have also took measures to not authorize bullfights in their towns. Through an intensive national and international campaign, ANIMAL also managed to stop the Regional Parliament of the Azores Islands from legalizing bullfights with Spanish-type &ldquoicadors”, which would add up to the extreme violence towards the bulls that Portuguese-type bullfights already involve.
For Miguel Moutinho, President of ANIMAL, “the participation of children in bullfights does not only constitute a violation of animal rights – it also constitutes a shocking violation of children´s rights. ANIMAL will do everything possible to have bullfighting banned once and for all and to, in the process of accomplishing that ethical goal, try to prevent children from being desensitized towards the suffering of animals and from being taught to, and praised for, torturing animals, as Michelito sadly does”.
ANIMAL can only carry on campaigning to abolish bullfighting and to forward animal protection in Portugal with your support – Please make as generous a donation as you can TODAY to help ANIMAL:  :: No More Crimes Without Punishment

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Posted: Saturday June 20, 2009, 1:00 pm
Tags: bullfighter [add/edit tags]

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