Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI slams French TV Channel “France 2” for giving children lessons in cruelty

Posted: 15 November 2006


From the 30th October to the 3rd November, France 2, the main public French television channel has shown a series in five episodes on bullfighting during the one O’clock news.

Shockingly, the France 2 series depicted a young matador, Mehdi Savalli, as a model for children in his community and reported that bullfighting was educational for children. A child as young as nine was shown training in a bullfighting school, encouraged by his mother.

After four broadcasts promoting participation in and attendance at bullfights, and sanitised propaganda about “valour”, the cruel spectacle itself was only screened in the final episode for a few seconds.

Tim Phillips, ADI Campaigns Director said “At a time when parents are increasingly concerned about the effect on children of the make-believe violence of Hollywood and certain video games, it is staggering that a major French television channel should choose to glorify actual violence and cruelty in this way. This is wholly irresponsible and promotes some of the worst cruelty in Europe.”

In France bulls continue to be tortured and killed in the name of entertainment across a swathe of some 72 towns and villages, between Bayonne in the south-west and Arles in the south. Yet this barbaric practice has no traditional roots in France, arriving as recently as 1853, when the first corrida was organised under the auspices of Eugénie de Montijo, the Spanish wife of Napoléon III. Consequently the vast majority of French people strongly oppose bullfighting.

However, France 2 failed to present any such balance in the series, with Jean-Pierre Guarrigues, President of the French anti-bullfighting society CRAC (Comite Radicalement Anti Corrida), only allowed a single response after the programme had aired.

The series Director Marie-Pierre Farkas, is reported as saying the bullfighting schools “teach respect and patience to children” – even when confronted with the fact that children as young as 12 years old are killing calves in these schools.

During French bullfights animals may be tormented and tortured with spikes and barbs for up to 20 minutes. Finally, with the animal forced to its knees it is stabbed – mise à mort. Even after this, the animal may remain alive but paralysed and conscious whilst its tail and and ears are hacked off. Entertainment fit for children?

ADI has written a letter of protest to the President of France Television and is urging supporters to do the same.

With the majority of the French public already opposed to bullfighting, ADI believe it will backfire on France TV if the channel continues to promote animal cruelty. Earlier this year, a campaign by ADI and campaigners in Portugal against a Celebrity Circus TV series featuring performing lions and elephants turned the series into a rating disaster and led to every one of the shows commercial sponsors withdrawing.

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France Télévisions information

The Channel “France 2” is part of the group “France Televisions” Click Here which regroups all French public channels.

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75907 Paris Cedex 15
Tél. 01 56 22 60 00

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