Spanish Director Accused of Animal Cruelty

MADRID (Reuters) — Spain's Oscar-winning film director Pedro Almodóvar faced allegations of cruelty to animals after he filmed scenes at a bullfighters' training session at which four bulls were killed.

Regional authorities in Madrid have received a complaint from animal rights group Amnistia Animal, an official with the local government said on Wednesday. The complaint was being studied and could lead to a fine, she said.

A spokeswoman for Almodóvar's production company confirmed that the bulls were killed during the filming of the director's new film Hable Con Ella (Talk to Her).

But she said the crew had only recorded a scheduled training session at which bulls are regularly put to the sword by would-be matadors.

"Whether we filmed or not, the bulls would have been killed," the spokeswoman said.

Matilde Cubillo, a spokeswoman for Amnistia Animal, said local laws prevented animals from suffering in films and that any violent scenes had to be simulated.

Almodóvar's melodrama All About My Mother won an Oscar in 2000 for Best Foreign Language Film.