The ranchers integrated in the Union of Breeders of Bulls of Lidia (UCTL) demand from the Government the self-regulation of the bullfighting festival as a measure “absolutely necessary for the viability of bullfighting shows.”
This has been reported to the Ministries of Agriculture and Culture and to the autonomous communities in a document detailing the economic losses they will suffer as a result of the pandemic, and requesting direct aid and necessary measures to reactivate the sector.
Among the latter is the one that refers to self-regulation and that says the following:
“Analysis and redesign of the structure of bullfighting shows, especially from the labor, fiscal and administrative point of view. We understand that in order to guarantee the viability of the shows, the regulatory and administrative liberalization that makes self-regulation of the sector possible is absolutely necessary ”.
“It is not a regulatory problem, but a fiscal, labor and administrative problem”
The literal nature of the petition sounds like an old demand from the bullfighting sectors that has no other objective than the repeal of all specifically bullfighting regulations – both specific laws and national and regional regulations – so that the responsibility for the shows falls in bullfighting, with full freedom to decide the development of the festivities.
It seems that is not so. Carlos Núñez, president of the UCTL, explains what can be considered as the fine print of the proposal:
“What we want as a sector is to review the bullfighting show from top to bottom, in the broadest sense,” he says, “to get a new one that, in the interest of professionals and amateurs, is viable for the future, more interesting, attractive and, above all, affordable for everyone. It is about regenerating, redesigning and revitalizing the world of the bull as a guarantee of survival for future generations ”.
“It is not a regulatory problem, but an economic one,” he adds; “a problem of structure and cost of production”. “We do not intend for the regulations to be repealed, but for the show to be designed differently in such a way that its celebration is possible.”
Apparently, the problem originates from the high expenses derived from the organization of a celebration in the third category squares and the extreme difficulty in reaching agreements between the various bullfighting professional sectors, some of them with antagonistic interests.
“The minor festivities and the bullfights that take place in the towns are unfeasible and require a new fiscal, labor and administrative approach that allows for their viability,” explains Carlos Núñez.
“The current model does not work, and we need the Administration to take a step forward, exempt the organizers from fees and expenses that it causes or compels itself, and allow the bullfighting celebration to continue being a generator of wealth and induced employment”, continues the president of the ranchers. “In the current circumstances, he adds,” large fairs will decrease the number of celebrations, but will disappear from third places if the central government, the autonomous communities and the municipalities do not change their approach. “
“That is the self-regulation that we demand”, he emphasizes, “and that nobody thinks that we intend to separate the Administration and organize on our own a sort of tentadero in a bullring, no; Bullfighting regulations establish the artistic development of a celebration, and that is an issue that should not concern us now, but rather the organization of the show, which easily amounts to 60,000 euros in a small town, an amount that is clearly not viable ”.
“The current model does not work; the Administration must take a step forward”
The livestock organization calls for a negotiation that, in its opinion, the Administrations must lead together with the businessmen, bullfighters and breeders to establish a new model that implies a substantial change.
“It does not mean that the show should be modified”; clarifies Núñez; “What we want is for there to be a show.”
The UCTL president insists that the problem will worsen next season, in which, “presumably, there will be less purchasing power, and many entrepreneurs will be forced to lower the price of tickets; in short, we must consider another bullfighting because there will be another society ”.
“It seems that the bullfighting festival is in serious danger of survival …
– “If we are able to seriously tackle the economic problem, no. Hobby is a factor that remains unchanged. Contrary to what many people may think, it has not declined. If there are new bullfighters, with personality and interest and prices appropriate to the economic situation, the squares will be filled. That’s clear to me. And if the Administration fulfills its duty to promote and protect the festival, as it is a cultural heritage. “
Carlos Núñez insists again and again on the initial approach and emphasizes that the self-regulation demanded by farmers is “economic and not normative”.
And he shows special effort that his words are faithfully collected to avoid interpretation problems now that he counts his last days as president of the Lidia Union of Bull Breeders. This same week he has called new elections, which he will not be able to present after 10 years at the head of it. “It has been a long time for love of the art of bullfighting in which I have lost money and some friends and I have won many tantrums,” he says.