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French tourism body urged to end bullfight promotion
25 June 2009

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The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on a French tourism body to stop promoting bullfighting. The call comes following an advertorial in the current edition of Ryanair magazine which features a photo of a matador statue alongside the caption "an amazing Roman amphitheatre in Nimes now hosts bullfighting."

In a letter of appeal to the Languedoc Roussillon Comite Regional du Tourism, ICABS described how bulls suffer horrendous fates in the region's bullrings. We provided them with photographs showing severely injured bulls spitting blood and bleeding from wounds.

"The South of France is famous the world over for its sunny climate, beautiful beaches, picturesque countryside, French and Roman history, ancient architecture and fine wines," we stated. "Why does your tourism body feel the need to tarnish this mix of attractions with bullfighting - your region's most shameful activity."

"A majority of French people want bullfighting banned and it is entirely disrespectful and insensitive of the Languedoc Roussillon Comite Regional du Tourism to present this animal cruelty in a positive light," we added. "We hope that you will reconsider your approach and eliminate all references to bullfighting and bullrunning from your promotional material."

Bullfighting in France - Image 15
Absolutely disgusting: a matador prepares to kill a weak and injured bull in a French bullring. (Image: Comite Radicalement Anti Corrida) View more photos

As well as the reference to bullfighting in the Ryanair Magazine advertorial, ICABS found the following bullfighting-related content on the tourism board's website:

Nimes - Nimes also means enthusiasm for the traditions of the Camargue: bullfighting, encierro, abrivado are all exciting festivals when the hotheadedness of youth faces up to the fiery spirit of the bulls. Here, love of bulls is truly a passion...hereís also plenty of music, dancing and wine at these pagan celebrations, which reach a high point daily at 5pm. Thatís the hour of the 'corrida', when man and bull go head to head in the bullrings.
[http://en.sunfrance.com/discover/destinations/cities_towns_villages/main_cities/nimes]

Portiragnes - Events: Camargue bullfighting in summer
[sunfrance.com/discover/destinations/the_mediterranean_coast/seaside_resorts/portiragnes3]

Mauguio-Carnon - Things to see & do: The Golden Lagoon. Events: Bullfighting festivals in summer
[en.sunfrance.com/discover/destinations/the_mediterranean_coast/seaside_resorts/mauguio_carnon3]

Beziers - Events: summer festival with bullfighting
[en.sunfrance.com/discover/destinations/cities_towns_villages/main_cities/beziers2]

Meanwhile, their "Sud de France, Tourism in Languedoc-Roussillon" brochure features an image of a bullring and a section devoted to "Ferias and the bullrings". This refers to Nimes as the "bullfighting capital" and says that "bullfighting fans take a seat in the arenas to watch the novilladas or the corridas, admiring the lithe moves of the torero..."

URGENT ACTION ALERT

Please make an appeal to the Languedoc Roussillon Comite Regional du Tourism to stop promoting bullfighting. Feel free to use the following sample letter or write an original letter of your own. Thank you.

Comite Regional Du Tourisme Du Languedoc-Roussillon
Email: contact.crtlr@sunfrance.com

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to urge you to stop promoting bullfighting in your promotional material. It is disappointing to see this disgusting animal cruelty being publicised in your advertorials, in your brochure and on your website.

The region you promote has so many attractions for tourists - sunny climate, beautiful beaches, picturesque countryside, French and Roman history, ancient architecture, fine wines - and there is no need whatsoever to resort to encouraging visitors to support the South of France's most shameful activity.

As I am sure you are aware, bulls suffer the most horrendous end in French bullrings, and a majority of French people want this cruelty banned. I believe it is highly inappropriate for Comite Regional Du Tourisme Du Languedoc-Roussillon to tarnish the valuable image of its region by promoting this violent spectacle. It is also worth mentioning that many tourists who visit a bullfight are shocked and upset at what they witness and this can leave a very negative impression on their holiday experience.

I hope that you will give serious consideration to your approach to bullfighting and please exclude it entirely from your marketing strategy.

Thank you very much. I look forward to your positive reply.

Yours faithfully,

[Your name and location]

Video: Bullfighting cruelty in South of France

Bullfighting: More information

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