The Spanish Fighting Bull (Toro Bravo, toro de lidia, toro lidiado, ganado bravo, Touro de Lide) is an Iberian cattle breed. 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, stamina and lack of intelligence: a bull intelligent enough to distinguish man from cape would be too dangerous.
History of the breed
Bull from the ganadería Sanchez Cobaleda.Some commentators trace the origins of the fighting bull to wild bulls from the Iberian Peninsula and their use for arena games in the Roman Empire. 1
Although the actual origins are disputed, genetic studies have indicated that the breeding stock have an unusually old genetic pool and an unusual amount of DNA usually found in cattle in Africa, perhaps coming from the Maghreb and dating from the period of Moorish occupation of Spain.2
The aggression of the bull has been maintained (or augmented, see above) by selective breeding and has come to be popular among the people of Spain, France and Portugal for the purpose of bullfighting. It was later introduced to Latin America by the Spanish settlers who wished to hold bullfights in their colonies.
In May 2010, Spanish scientists cloned the first of the breed. The calf, named Got, meaning “glass” in Valencian, was cloned from a bull named Vasito and implanted into a Holstein host mother.3
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