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Swedish stripper praised for bullfight bravery

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Swedish stripper praised for bullfight bravery
Anima Axelsson jumped into Malaga's bullring to comfort a dying bull. Photo: Peta
11:53 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: A Swedish stripper who went into a bullring in southern Spain to comfort a dying animal has told The Local she's not afraid of being punished and has been praised by animal rights campaigners.
Amina Axelsson, 41,  jumped over the barrier of La Malagueta bullring in Malaga over the weekend and unfurled a banner that read 'Stop bullfights!' before being removed from the bullring by one of the matadors.
 
She was swiftly praised for her "bravery" by animal rights group Peta.
 
"No animal should have to endure an agonizing and unnecessary death for the enjoyment of a crowd," the activist said via a statement release by the charity.
 
“I join together with Peta to urge all compassionate people to stop these cruel events, which have been condemned internationally, by never attending a bullfight,” she added.
 
Speaking to The Local on Tuesday she added: “It was a symbolic act to show that we are thinking about the bull."

“I was nervous about doing it… but more nervous about police than the bull."

 
Axelsson, who is originally from Linköping in southern Sweden but currently lives in Marbella, describes herself on Twitter as "a Swedish stripper and adult model" who practises a vegan lifestyle and enjoys spending time with her husband and three cats.
 
She is no stranger to animal rights protests, having stripped off and painted herself in fake animal blood during a bullfighting protest in Pamplona last year. The Swede has also staged numerous protests in her native Sweden against the fur industry.

“The issue of animal rights is very different in Spain to Sweden,” she told The Local. “There are laws here in Spain but they are never policed, people just do what they want.”

The 41-year-old added that while she has staged naked protests in the past, she decided against it on this occasion.

Axelsson was arrested after the protest but described the policeman as “fantastic”:

“He was also against bullfighting, he was definitely on my side,” she said.

Axelsson faces a fine for her protest, but has said that does not worry her:

 

“They can prosecute or fine me, be my guest,” she said. “I'm still going to stand up for what I believe in.” 

 

 
Axelsson is the second activist to jump into Malaga's bullring – which dates back to 1876 and has been designated a “cultural asset of Spain” since the 1970s for its Neo-Mudejar, or Moorish-style, architecture.
 
In August Virginia Ruiz jumped into the ring and, unlike Axelsson, managed to approach the bull to comfort it as it lay dying on the ground.
 
"I wanted to give him love before he left this world," Ruiz told Spanish television station Telecinco following the event.
 
In a statement released in Spain on Monday, Mimi Bekhechi, the director of Peta UK, slammed the bullfighting practices including "subjecting the animal to electric shocks" and "tranquilizing" the bulls before the corridas.
 
The animal rights charity also warned that 12 people had died after being gored by bulls in July and August, making 2015 the deadliest summer in 15 years.
 
Nearly 16,000 town festivals included bull events this summer, which have drawn fierce criticism from animal rights activists both in Spain and abroad.
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