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26 Aug 2004 11:21
China will get its first bullfights in the next few months, complete with matadors from Spain, but the bulls will have to come from somewhere else, the government says.
Organisers of the bullfights, planned for China’s National Day holidays in early October, had planned to airlift six bulls from Spain for the events.
But officials nixed that plan, citing Spain’s listing by China as a country affected by mad-cow disease, state-run newspapers reported on Thursday.
So the Spanish matadors will instead face bulls from Mexico or other countries, the Shanghai Daily cited Zhu Weifeng, the festival’s organiser, as saying.
Zhu promised that the substitute bulls would be “as fierce as the Spanish ones,” it said.
“The most important thing is the matadors’ performance, not the bulls’,” he said.
Three of Spain’s top matadors have been invited to participate in the Spanish cultural festival to display the traditional bullfighting customs and “fight the bulls to death,” the Shanghai Daily said.
The plan is something of a coup for Shanghai in its rivalry with the Chinese capital, Beijing.
Plans for bullfights in Beijing, which had already built what was billed as the biggest bullring in Asia, were scrapped after complaints that the event would be cruel to animals.
Promoters there now plan to use the ring for circuses and other animal performances, according to state media reports. - Sapa-AP
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