Images of a bullfighting event have sparked outrage among netizens but not because of animal cruelty but instead because of the lack of social distancing and face masks in the crowd.
The bullfight was held at the Plaza de Toros de la Merced (Bullfighting Ring) in the city of Huelva, in the southwestern Spanish region of Andalusia on 2nd August.
Images of the event were posted online showing hundreds of spectators in the stands of the bullfighting ring, which in some areas seems to be empty and in others, spectators can be seen packed tightly together, not all of whom are wearing face masks.
One of the images shows a group of people in the middle of the ring holding a banner which reads “Bullfighters are Culture. No to discrimination.”
Bullfighting is a controversial tradition in Spain, with many regions having banned the blood sport. It is a popular subject of discussion in Spanish media and among animal rights organisations.
However, for once the pictures were inundated with reproaching comments not about animal cruelty but rather from netizens expressing indignation at the lack of social distancing.
Twitter user ‘Catachoquera’ said “In the midst of new outbreaks of COVID-19… An embarrassment”
Whilst user ‘MiguelCuestaR’ wrote “This is the bullfighting stadium YESTERDAY. Can somebody explain this to me? Will there be consequences?”
Another netizen ‘David Cejudo Alarcon’ posted the image with the post: “I condemn the practice of bullfighting that occurred yesterday afternoon in Huelva. A place full of people and without complying with safety measures… This is not the time!”
According to the measures for the ‘new normal’ implemented in Andalusia, the maximum capacity allowed at bull fights is 50 percent. There must also be a distance of 1.5 metres between spectators, and the use of masks is obligatory when this distance cannot be kept.
The Plaza de Toros de La Merced reportedly responded to the viral Twitter storm, asserting that the occupancy was 39.05 percent, less than the maximum of 50 percent, according to national newspaper La Vanguardia.
Twitter user ‘intercityfirm75’ who attended the event told Real Press that the organisers “complied with all security measures against COVID-19”
According to local newspaper Diario de Huelva, the City Council have expressed their concern to the Mayor of Andalusia about the images taken in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, although there is no further news as to whether there will be consequences.