Bullfighting is a physical contest that involves humans and animals attempting to publicly subdue, immobilise, or kill a bull, usually according to a set of rules, guidelines, or cultural expectations. There are many different forms and varieties in various locations around the world. Some forms involve dancing around or over a cow or bull, or attempting to grasp an object from the animal.
The best-known form of bullfighting is Spanish-style bullfighting, a traditional spectacle in countries including Spain, Portugal, parts of southern France, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru. While some forms are sometimes considered to be a blood sport, in some countries, for example Spain, it is defined as an art form or cultural event and relevant regulatory frameworks liken it to other cultural events and heritage. In Spain, toreros (bullfighters) are almost as popular as football stars, often supported by sponsors and appearing in press. A particular breed of cattle, the Spanish Fighting Bull, is used for this type of bullfighting; in addition these bulls must be bred in large ranches with as little contact with humans as possible.
There are many historic fighting venues in the Iberian Peninsula, France, and Latin America. The largest venue of its kind is the Plaza México in central Mexico City, which seats 48,000 people, and the oldest are the Plazas of Béjar and Ronda, in the Spanish provinces of Salamanca and Málaga.
The practice of bullfighting is controversial because of a range of concerns including animal welfare, funding, and religion. Bullfighting is illegal in most countries, but remains legal in most areas of Spain and Portugal, as well as in some Hispanic American countries and some parts of southern France.