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Spain's Ministry of Culture announced that the "National Bullfighting Award", with a prize money of 30 thousand euros, will no longer be awarded.

The ministry stated that concerns about animal welfare have increased in Spain and that there is a new cultural and social reality.

Culture Minister Ernest Urtasun, who is also the spokesperson of the Sumar alliance, the junior partner in the coalition of far-left parties, had stated in previous years that the majority of Spaniards do not share "animal abuse" and did not award the Golden Medal of Merit to matadors in 2023.

Bullfighting in Spain has been the subject of constant political controversy in recent years. The controversy flared up again after the Ministry of Culture abolished the award.

BULLFIGHTS BANNED ONLY IN CATALONIA, CANARY ISLANDS AND BALEARIC ISLANDS 

Among Spain's 17 autonomous regions, only Catalonia, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands have banned bullfighting. In some regions such as Madrid, Murcia and Castilla La Mancha, bullfights are recognized as a "cultural value".

Bullfights, which are politically supported by right-wing parties, were declared Spain's "cultural heritage" with a decision taken in the Senate in 2013.

More than 800 bullfights are organized annually in Spain. It is stated that public subsidies for these fights reach 500 million euros a year.

According to the data of non-governmental organizations supporting bullfights, the contribution of these organizations, which are watched by approximately 5 million people annually, to the country's economy is equivalent to approximately 1.5 percent of the gross domestic product. It is stated that 60 thousand families make a living from bull breeding.

PACMA, which makes politics for the protection of animals, campaigns for the ban of the wrestling, which it claims that nearly 11 thousand bulls are killed annually.