Alleged breed bulls

Will the ‘bull breed’ disappear when disappear the bullfights?? This is a question that the advocacy we do frequently and which with accusatory bias repeated in an article ò the magazine at as part of the argument to use to defend their rejects.

Race bulls disappear when bullfights disappear? Here’s a question we often animalistic and, with accusatory bias, make us taurómacos as part of the argument to use to defend their indefensible hobby.To give and to give a reasoned response, the first thing is to lay the premise if indeed there is called “bull” as animal breed, because if the answer is negative, the disjunctive “no runs no bull” lacks sense, since it can not disappear what does not exist. But not anticipate concepts, otherwise, soon, we would be involved in a tangle of words such as “kind”, “race”, “variety”, “mating”, etc., without knowing what we are talking which is what usually happens to them, the bull.

Some basics of taxonomy

The ” full name” of any animal is defined in zoology by its genus and species [1] . All animals belonging to the same genus have in common a number of similar characters (wildcards). Thus, all animals belonging to the genus Canis, as the dog and wolf, are obvious enough common characters ( in this case) but also differentiating characters [2] . Therefore, the first part of the familiaris species (Canis familiaris) and the second to the species lupus (Canis lupus) [3] . With Bovine same thing happens: Zebu cow and belong to the genus Bos, but the first is of the species taurus (Bos taurus) and the second species indicus (Bos indicus). We could therefore say, in general terms, that animals of the same species, besides having its own generic characters resemble each other as much as their parents, are distinguished from other species of the same genus, and interbreed giving fertile offspring.

But it happens very often that groups of animals of the same species have each other clearly distinguish characters that allow (for example, all dogs are of the same species, but it is possible to distinguish clearly a poodle of a mastiff). In this case we are facing a situation that requires lower levels within species: are the polytypic species. And it is in these subdivisions where taxonomic standards is darker: species can be divided into sub-species and / or varieties and sub-varieties are in or biotopes.The use of the synonym “race” for “variety” is common and correct. Following our canine example, a greyhound Canis familiaris would be a greyhound race.

These taxonomic rules, somewhat simplified to facilitate understanding, no other object for our purposes to give an overall view. But it is important to note that characters that allow classifying a group of animals within the same race must inevitably comply with the following rules:

  1. That are differentiators with respect to the other races of the species (the characters that already exist in a race does not serve to describe another).
  2. Which are stable in the sense that they are confirmed and perpetuated by inheritance (a character that can not appear in the offspring, not used to describe a race).
  3. That are amenable to scientific description (one character “provided” is not valid to mark some characteristic of a race, it is a subjective assessment).

While 3) is a rule of rational obviousness, 1) and 2) they are not only scientific concept, but also by semantic definition of the term “race”: Each of the groups in which an organic species is divided, formed by individuals who have certain common characteristics that distinguish them from those of other groups in the same category and transmitted by inheritance (María Moliner).

There is no doubt that these rules are perfectly applicable to our canine example, but so are the Bos taurus used in the fight?Before answering, let me outline the origin and evolution of these animals.

The origin of the current fighting bulls

His earliest known predecessor is the planifrons Bos, who lived during the Pliocene (final tertiary). It descend at least two species: primigenius Bos (or European uro) and nomadicus Bos (or Afro – Asian uro). Primigenius Bos, possibly crossed with some braquícera species (Shorthorn) appears on the current adc 10000-8000 Bos taurus, which begins to diversify so that already in the Neolithic period (about 4000 adc) are known no less three different subspecies. Thereafter, and because of their domesticity, you suffer constant crosses, many you see with the intervention of man, seeking varieties for meat and milk for work. And not to go back much further, and we are in the Spain of the fourteenth century, from where they are certain that the bulls for the fight butchers bought data [4] , which, because of their profession, know bulls shown bravest among the herds with trading partners. That is, bred specimens of meat breeds are chosen, not to fight. Among these Spanish races were frequent the Berrenda, the Cardena, the Salmantina, the Retinta, etc. Races are all belonging to the species Bos taurus, fixed characters over centuries and even millennia.

But some farmers realize that the cattle raising especially for the fight can be as profitable or more than meat, and the mid-eighteenth century began to appear the first herds of bulls for fighting. These cowboys selected, crossed and breeding in their races between his fingertips, and start producing bulls convicted of birth to the fight. They have thus created a new breed of Bos taurus? Now we are back to the beginning.

Is there fighting race?

The answer is simply NO, and can give arguments. Recall that in order to define a breed must meet three rules, and if it is not satisfied if only one of them can not speak of race. Well, the so-called fighting bulls does not meet any of the three:

  1. There Bulls own the hypothetical race of fighting morphological characters, as these (the morphological characters of the bulls) are indefinable by disparate. Please describe any copy of any livestock breeding of bulls for fighting, and you will see that such a description does not apply to other copies of other farms that breed specimens with the same purpose [5] . Nor are there definable characters differentiating between bulls fighting the hypothetical race over other races of the same species.
  2. Psychological differentiators characters that you’re supposed to hypothetical race of bulls (mainly difficult to define “bravura”) does not seem to perpetuate regularly with inheritance, so much so that the vast majority lacks them, according to denounce the taurómacos themselves. Otherwise, the groping would be unnecessary, and all bulls born of “bravos” parents would be equally brave. Nor do they seem to perpetuate the morphological characters: observing photographs of copies of bulls from different eras, even from the same herd, it can be seen that show very different morphological characteristics.
  3. We do not know a single scientific description of the distinguishing characteristics of the hypothetical race bulls. This despite having consulted a very extensive bibliography. The reason is simple: it can not be described what is nonexistent. So much so, that neither the Regulations of bullfights are described, merely prohibit cattle that are not registered in the Register of Livestock Companies fighting bulls are grapple, and that they have the zootechnical characteristics of livestock to they belong to [6] .

Therefore, we should say that the race fighting exists only as an idea or goal to be achieved by the farmers concerned, and that by accepting that there is a phenotype [7] ideal, which is not true while the concept of “toro bulls “, both the morphological appearance and psychologically, is changing over time according to the taurómacas fashions of the moment.

The claim that there is no fighting race, is clearly not ours alone. For example, what is possibly the most complete and documented work published on the Spanish indigenous breeds [8] , says to the effect: “The fighting livestock is in Spain a heterogeneous bovine population it is quite doubtful integrated into race, since the only characteristic that can be assigned in common is their ability to show an aggressive temperament, that fans the bullfighting call bravura … therefore, it is doubtful integrate this diverse cattle population within the concept of race . ”

What then are the bulls?

Undoubtedly, and as we have previously noted, the current Spanish cattle breeds are the result of crosses more ancient races, and these the result of crosses and / or diversification of even earlier species. That is, that at one point started from mestizos animals until their characters (those whose “creators” considered suitable for their purposes) were fixed by artificial selection to result in an actual race. The reason that the characters of indigenous breeds were fixed in their day and those of the bulls not to be sought not in the time it necessarily has to pass before it happens (with more than two centuries has been enough) but in the interests taurine own business time.

If from the outset (or even in later times) had decided the prototype bull that wanted to achieve, to be sure that today there would be a race of bull. But fashions and interests have led farmers to continue continuously crossbreeding [9] , so that the bulls today are not like those of yesterday, those the day before yesterday, nor will resemble those of tomorrow to continue on the same path.

In short: the bulls current fighting are but mestizos animals that do not belong to any particular race, and only to fix a concept as a reference, I would define as “animals belonging to various pseudorrazas of Bos taurus, with frequent feature scientifically indefinable, to express an instinctive aggression when provoked or harassed “characteristic shared with other many species and even copies of other cattle breeds.

They are sincere bullfighting care when they disappear forever?

It is clear that bullfighting what worries them is the disappearance of the runs, not the bulls: a few, simple fans because lose their divertimento; other -ganaderos, critics, matadors, etc. because they will lose their business. But neither one nor the others are interested in the fate of pseudorrazas bulls. And to make this statement I rely on the following evidence:

  1. Many pseudorrazas have been lost and others continue to lose, so caused, and therefore not put the outcry [10].
  2. Several indigenous cattle breeds (true breeds) have disappeared in recent years (campurriana, pasiega, lebaniega, etc.) and many others are in imminent danger of disappearing (albera, cacereña white, cachena, Murcia, etc.) and are not bullfighting precisely which stand for protection.

¿Pseudorazas bulls disappear when runs away?

The bulls do not exist because there are runs, but the opposite: the bullfights exist because there were bulls. Recall that primitive cattle farmers tried for centuries to eradicate this character bravo from their livestock, selecting the most gentle animals and therefore more manageable. And yet, in the eighteenth century the first cattle ranchers met for fighting gene copies whose bravura had not disappeared. Copies still exist today among the herds of beef bulls, which show an instinctive aggression when they are harassed or provoked [11] . There is, therefore, reason to doubt that the character is still perpetuated for a long time, naturally, especially if it is not selected in the opposite direction.

Therefore it is essential to ensure the conservation of native Spanish cattle breeds, true wealth and zootechnical zoological our country, rather than by pseudorrazas bulls. It is estimated that 32% of the former are in imminent danger of extinction, and 38% at moderate risk of extinction [12] .

As for the bulls pseudorrazas with ecological value much lower than before, their survival on the run is a simple matter of will.For now have to decide what you want to perpetuate phenotypes to prevent farmers to continue making them disappear. Do not forget that the bullfighting own business is right now his worst enemy. Once established the differentiating characters of the breed bulls, they should only be registered in the Stud Book of Raza Bovina Lidia lostuvieran the copies, and in a few years and yes one could speak of the breed bulls.

And there a race of fighting, rangeland protection in the effect would be cheap and simple. Much more than the protection of other endangered animals (such as lynx, wolves or bears [13] ) that has been shown possible.

And we must not forget that even without being used for fighting, current pseudorrazas bulls are economically profitable as producers of meat, or at least as profitable as many Spanish races extensive breeding [14] . That is, they are a real alternative to land production that do not allow other more delicate breeds, although handling it much more complicated.

In short: the bulls pseudorrazas does not have to disappear if bullfighting were abolished, and there is no doubt that those who now advocate its abolition that we would thereafter would fight for the protection of such beautiful and magnificent animals.

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