Spain’s bullfighters have won the inaugural Animal Cruelty World Cup in Brazil, narrowly beating the foxhunters of England in the final.

The competition, in which teams from different countries competed to inflict the maximum ‘pain and distress’ on a variety of animals, has been described by organisers as a ‘terrific success’. England entered the final as firm favourites, having dispatched the Rhinoceros poachers of Namibia with ease in the semi-final. The team got off to a good start, clearly winning the ‘set fire to a Jackdaw’ round after the Spanish team spent the first 15 minutes taunting their bird with red capes.

However the English team struggled during the ‘punch a zebra’ round, and were decisively defeated in the final ‘waterboard a hedgehog’ competition after they got thirsty and drank all the water. The English team also had a player red carded during this round after he attempted to give medical aid to one of the hedgehogs, in clear violation of the rules and spirit of the game.

After the game the England squad apologised to their fans for their questionable performance, and the team’s coach, former football manager Roy Hodgson, announced his resignation.
Commercially the Animal Cruelty World Cup has been a tremendous success, with organisers describing global TV audiences as ‘unprecedented’.

The Spanish will have the chance to defend their title in 2021, when the next World Cup is held in Australia, and have announced that they intend to spend the next four years ‘beating up Catalans’ to keep match fit.