The Council of Ministers decided on Thursday that the minimum age to watch a bullfight in Portugal is 12-16 years.
“This measure follows the report of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child of 27 September 2019, which advocates raising the minimum age for watching bullfighting programs in Portugal,” the government explained in a statement made by the Council of Ministers on Thursday.
The government added in its statement that the age of 16 is also the minimum age for “admission and practice of a bullfighting artist and a bullfighting event assistant”.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that Portugal change the minimum age for watching bullfights to 18 years.
Raising the minimum age for watching bullfights has also been a demand from parties such as PAN and BE, which have previously made proposals to this effect in the General Assembly of the Republic and directly to the government in the context of the human budget negotiations.
On the other hand, the measure approved by the Council of Ministers this Thursday was part of a government program approved in 2019.
The legislation in force until now, the February 2014 decree, stipulates that “artistic performances and public entertainment are age-rated,” and bullfighting is for those over 12 years of age.
Raising the minimum age for bullfighting has been publicly opposed by bullfighting defense organizations and the municipalities where bullfighting events are held.
In the previous parliamentary term, the bullfights were one of the issues that led to an open separation between the government of Prime Minister António Costa and the PS group led by Carlos César.
From the 2019 state budget, unlike other proposals, the government refused to reduce VAT on bullfighting programs from 13 percent to 6 percent, and Minister of Culture Graça Fonseca even defended in the plenary session of the Republican Assembly that bullfights are a “civilization issue”.
However, the Left, PEV and PAN, PSD, CDS and PCP voted against the will of the government and approved a reduction in VAT from 13% to 6%, regardless of whether they take place at venues or not, fixed and closed, including Bullfights.
The PS parliamentary group also proposed, against the will of the government, to amend the budget to reduce VAT on bullfighting to 6%, but it was decided to reject it despite its support for 43 of its 83 representatives.