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Last updated at 14:00 GMT, Friday, 07 February 2014

UN: No bullfighting for kids

Summary

7 February 2014

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has called on Portugal to impose restrictions on children taking part in or watching bullfights. It is concerned about their impact on minors' mental and physical health.

Reporter:

Alison Roberts

Representation of a bull

Bullfights are still popular in Spain and Portugal

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Report

In Portugal, there are bullfighting schools where children can learn techniques from any age – albeit not necessarily involving a live animal. The UN Committee wants a minimum age of 12.

It also expressed concern about minors attending bullfights as spectators, given the often very bloody violence involved, and would like the current minimum age of six to be raised.

Unlike in neighbouring Spain, in Portugal the bull is not killed in the ring, but is invariably badly mauled before being led away to be slaughtered out of sight.

Portugal's government and political parties have not so far responded to the Committee's recommendations.

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Vocabulary

albeit

although

spectators

people watching an event, audience

ring

circular area surrounded by seats where the action takes place

mauled

injured (used for animals)

slaughtered

killed for its meat

responded

reacted

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