The initiative is planned for a removable enclosure, installed in the parish of Ferreiró, on private land, but it did not have a positive technical opinion from the Vila Condense municipality, leading the organisers to resort to the courts to have the decision judicially reversed.
“We reject the conduct of the Vila do Conde Chamber, which rejected the licensing request for this show. The autarchy is not above the law and bullfighting is protected by the Portuguese Constitution. For this reason, our lawyers have brought a lawsuit against the municipality”, explained Luís Gusmão, president of the association Juntos pelo Mundo Rural, which organises the event.
The official was convinced that “the cultural spectacle and the installed removable square comply with all legal requirements”, guaranteeing that the equipment is “licensed and inspected” and has already been used in more than 90 municipalities “without ever having problems".
“The information given by the municipality is not correct and therefore we resort to legal proceedings. It was merely a political decision on the part of the Chamber and we will ask for compensation due to this situation”, added Luís Gusmão.
The association’s president is confident that he will win this legal battle and believes that the “show will take place on the appointed day and time”, stressing that tickets will continue to be sold, and pointing out that “it was the Vila-Condenses who asked for the event to be held in their county”.
“We are here to promote and defend the good name of bullfighting. We have already informed the Chamber and the GNR command that on the day of the show [July 23] we are going to hold a peaceful demonstration in favour of bullfighting in Ferreiró. Any other type of demonstration scheduled for the same day and place is considered, by law, as sabotage”, warned Luís Gusmão.
On the part of the Vila do Conde Chamber, President Vítor Costa explained to the Lusa agency that the reason for the rejection of the application for licensing of itinerant premises was due to the “negative opinions issued by the municipal services”.
“All the technical opinions, in which I fully trust, were negative. In the legal aspect, deficiencies were pointed out in legal and regulatory terms, as the transit services said that circulation conditions were not met at the site, namely for emergency vehicles, and the Civil Protection said that the event did not have the capacity to accommodate the number of expected spectators”, said Vítor Costa.
“No bullfights here”
Vítor Costa clarified that it was only the technical opinions of the municipal services that led to the rejection of the show's licensing request, but he shared a political position regarding bullfighting.
“Vila do Conde is not, and never has been, a land for bullfighting. We do not have this tradition, nor is there any memory of any bullfighting event in the county. We are committed to the principles of animal welfare, and I have received dozens of messages to that effect. Vila-condenses don’t want bullfights here,” he said.