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Posted by portugalpress on July 09, 2018

A man, described by the UK’s Times newspaper as “a father”, is in the doghouse this week for ‘taking on a charging bull’ while holding a toddler in his arms.

It’s not clear from Portuguese reports whether the man is indeed the small child’s father. But the consensus is that he should not have been taking part in traditional bull-baiting on the island of Terceira, in the Azores, while in charge of a minor - particularly one so small.

A video uploaded onto the Facebook site of the “Comissão das touradas e bodo de leite - Festas da Casa da Ribeira 2018” showed the man holding the child in his right arm while he dodged the bull’s horns.

“The bull had a rope round its neck with the other end held by a group of men”, writes the Times.

The father was “waving a pink cape at the animal. The child swayed in his arms every time he dodged the bull”.

Basta, a group opposed to bullfighting, caught sight of the video before it was hastily removed from Facebook, and is incensed - demanding that “the father be identified”.

“This is a serious violation of the legislation which protects children in Portugal”, said the group in a statement.

Basta seems to be challenging child protection agency CNPDPCJ to get involved. Público claims to have contacted the organisation “to understand the possible legal implications” of the incident, but says it did not receive a reply.

Independent advice from a legal professional at child support institute IAC points to the incident most definitely being actionable.

Ana Perdigão told Público that this was a situation in which a child was “exposed to dangers that put physical and emotional integrity gratuitously at risk”.

Despite arguments that some children are used to situations such as these “due to living with them from a tender age”, Ana Perdigão was categoric, said the paper: “This was gratuitous, high risk exposure, even more serious if the adult in question is indeed the child’s father, as he has a duty to defend the minor’s interests”.

Thus there is certainly one man on the island of Terceira this week who will be trying to keep a very low profile.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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