This animal paper model is a Spanish Fighting Bull, created by J. Ossorio. The Spanish Fighting Bull (Toro Bravo, toro de lidia, toro lidiado, ganado bravo, Touro de Lide) is an Iberian heterogeneous cattle population. It is primarily bred free-range on extensive estates in Southern Spain, Portugal and Latin American countries where bull fighting is organized. Fighting bulls are selected primarily for a certain combination of aggression, energy, strength, and stamina.
The fighting bull is characterized by its aggressive behaviour, especially when solitary or unable to flee. Many are coloured black or dark brown, but other colourations are normal. They reach maturity slower than meat breeds as they were not selected to be heavy, having instead a well-muscled "athletic" look, with a prominent morillo, a complex of muscles over the shoulder and neck which gives the bull its distinctive profile and strength with its horns. The horns are longer than in most other breeds and are also present in both males and females. Mature bulls weigh from 500 to 700 kg (1100-1600 lb).
Among fighting cattle there are several "encastes" or sub types of the breed. Of the so-called "foundational breeds", only the bloodlines of Vistahermosa, Vázquez, Gallardo and Cabrera remain today. In the cases of the latter two only the ranches of Miura and Pablo Romero are deeply influenced by them. The so-called "modern foundational bloodlines" are Saltillo, Murube, Parladé and Santa Coloma, all of which are mainly composed of Vistahermosa blood.
Fighting cattle are bred on specialised, wide-ranging ranches, which are often havens for Spanish wildlife as the farming techniques used are extensive. It is raised by its mother until one year old, after which it is separated from the mother regardless of gender. Afterwards it is branded and kept in single-sex groups. When they reach two years or so, they are sent to the tienta, or testing.
For the males, this will establish if they are suitable for breeding, the bullfight, or being slaughtered for meat. The testing for the bullfight is only of their aggression towards the horse, as they cannot see a man on the ground before they enter the ring. They learn how to use their horns in tests of strength and dominance with other bulls. Due to their special aggression, these combats can lead to severe injuries and even the death of bulls at great cost to the breeder.
The females are more thoroughly tested, including by a bullfighter with his capes; hence a bull's "courage" is often said to descend from his mother.
If fit for bullfighting bulls will return to their peers. Cows passing the tienta will become mothers and slaughtered only when they are too old to bear calves.
After males are three years old they are no longer considered calves, afterwards they are known as novillos and are ready for bullfighting, although novilladas are for training bullfighters, or novilleros. The best bulls are kept for corridas de toros with full matadors. Under Spanish law they must be at least four years old and reach the weight of 460 kg to fight in a first-rank bullring, 435 kg for a second-rank one, and 410 kg for third-rank rings. They must also have fully functional vision and even horns and be in generally good condition.
Very few times a year a bull will be indultado, or 'pardoned', meaning his life is spared due to 'outstanding' behaviour in the bullring, leading the audience to petition the president of the ring with white handkerchiefs. The bullfighter joins the petition, as it is a great honor to have a bull one has fought pardoned. The bull is then returned to the ranch where he will live out his days in the fields and in most cases will become a 'seed bull' (he is mated once with some 30 cows and the offspring are tested after four years for their efficacy in the ring). In these circumstances a bull's lifespan can be 20 to 25 years.
Cattle have dichromacy, rendering them red-green colourblind and falsifying the idea that the colour red makes them angry; they just respond to the movement the "muleta" makes. The red coloring is traditional and is believed to both dissimulate blood stains and provide a suitable light-dark contrast against the arena floor.
Bullfighting (Spanish: corrida de toros), also known as tauromachia or tauromachy, is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Hispanic American countries and the Philippines, in which one or more bulls are baited, and then killed in a bullring for sport and entertainment. As such, it is often called a blood sport by its detractors, but followers of the spectacle regard it as a 'fine art' and not a sport, as there are no elements of competition in the proceedings. In Portugal, it is illegal to kill a bull in the arena, so it is removed, treated and released into its owners' fields.
The tradition, as it is practiced today, involves professional toreros (also called matadors) who execute various formal moves which can be interpreted and innovated according to the bullfighter's style or school. Toreros seek to elicit inspiration and art from their work and an emotional connection with the crowd transmitted through the bull. Such maneuvers are performed at close range, which places the bullfighter at risk of being gored or trampled. After the bull has been hooked multiple times behind the shoulder by other matadors in the arena, the bullfight usually concludes with the killing of the bull by a single sword thrust, which is called the estocada. In Portugal, the finale consists of a tradition called the pega, where men try to grab and hold the bull by its horns when it runs at them.
Supporters of bullfighting argue that it is a culturally important tradition and a fully developed art form on par with painting, dancing and music, while animal rights advocates hold that it is a blood sport resulting in the suffering of bulls and horses.
There are many historic fighting venues in the Iberian Peninsula, France and Hispanic America. The largest venue of its kind is the Plaza México in central Mexico City, which seats 48,000 people, and the oldest is the La Maestranza in Seville, Spain, which was first used for bullfighting in 1765.
Forms of non-lethal bullfighting also appear outside the Iberian and Francophone world, including the Tamil Nadu practise of jallikattu; and the Portuguese-influenced mchezo wa ngombe is also practiced on the Tanzanian islands of Pemba and Zanzibar. Types of bullfighting which involve bulls fighting other bulls, rather than humans, are found in the Balkans, Turkey, the Persian Gulf, Japan, Peru and Korea. In many parts of the Western United States, various rodeo events like calf roping and bull riding were influenced by the Spanish bullfighting.