English actor and comic Ricky Gervais has joined the “Love Spain, Hate Bullfighting” public service campaign. The creator of TV’s popular “The Office” views the Spanish national pastime as simply “cruel”. He is urging Spain to outlaw bullfighting as soon as possible.
The 52-year-old Brit appears in an ad where he notes “I can think of nothing worse than inflicting terrible pain, fear and suffering on a beautiful animal for the sake of amusement.” Other Brits involved in the campaign include singer Leona Lewis and poet Benjamin Zephaniah.
The animal rights campaign is organized by the Humane Society International (HSI) that is trying to make sure Spanish officials do not use public funds to support bullfighting because many Spaniards are opposed to the sport. Spain is considering a law that would make bullfighting a national cultural treasure and therefore protected by the government.
Gervais also partnered with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) in 2010 to get the word out about the evils of bullfighting. Under that WSPA campaign Gervais urged tourists to stop supporting the business of bullfighting by not attending bullfights when they visit Spain or other countries hosting the sport.
Spain, France, Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico still hold bullfighting events, says HSI and 250,000 are killed each year in those bullfights.