Outrage after bullfighter holds baby in the ring

Spanish matador holds a baby in the bullfighting ring. (Sky News)

Spanish matador holds a baby in the bullfighting ring. (Sky News)

A famous Spanish matador is being investigated and could face prosecution after he held his baby with one arm while training in the ring.

Francisco Rivera Ordonez posted a photograph on Instagram of him and five-month-old daughter Carmen as a bloodied bull ran past, just inches away.

Rivera included a caption which read: "Carmen's debut, this is the fifth generation that fights bulls in our family.

"My grandfather fought bulls like this with my father. My father fought bulls like this with me, and I've done it with my daughters Cayetana and now with Carmen."

The picture sparked outrage in Spain and there has been an official complaint by a child protection agency in the southern region of Andalucia.

The agency said it had taken the case to juvenile prosecutors and called it "a situation of unnecessary risk for a minor and a decision that we totally reject".

Animal rights activists and others want to abolish bullfights, while there are other people who are keen to keep the age-old tradition going.

Rivera comes from a long line of bullfighters.

His father was gored to death in Andalucia in 1984, and his grandfather was Antonio Ordonez, considered one of the greatest bullfighters of all time.

Ordonez has defended his decision to hold his baby during training, saying: "My daughter has never been safer.

"I'm a bullfighter, I live for this and I dedicate 365 days a year to it," he tweeted.

"She didn't face the slightest danger for even a second."

Spain's bullfighters' union backed Rivera, saying he was facing a young bull and pointed out that bringing children to the ring was a long-held tradition among matadors.

The sport has been the focus of rising criticism in Spain, with several regions or cities banning corridas or annual festivals with bullfights and bull running.

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