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.
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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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people watching an event, audience
circular area surrounded by seats where the action takes place
injured (used for animals)
killed for its meat