18/06/2017 9:40 PM AEST | Updated 18/06/2017 9:42 PM AEST

Spanish Matador Dies After Being Gored In Chest By Bull During Fight

A matador has died after being gored in the chest by a bull, becoming the second Spanish bullfighter to die in the bullring in the past year.

Ivan Fandino tripped in the ring in southwestern France while participating in the controversial bloodsport.

The 36-year-old was rushed to hospital, but later died from his injuries, Spanish news agency EFE reported, citing sources close to the Basque matador’s entourage.

IROZ GAIZKA via Getty Images
Ivan Fandino is assisted after being impaled by a Baltasar Iban bull during a bullfight at the Corrida des Fetes on June 17, 2017 in Aire sur Adour, southwestern France.

It has been reported that Fandino stumbled after tripping on a cape used in a turn to engage and distract the bull. The animal then pierced the matador’s side with one of his horns, EFE said.

Fandino had won an earlier fight and cut off the bull’s ear, AFP reports.

He is the second Spanish bullfighter to die in the ring in the past 12 months. 

Victor Barrio became the first matador to die in the bullring in more than 30 years after he was struck by the bull’s horns in July last year. 

Bullfighting is illegal in the UK but is practiced in other parts of Europe and the rest of the world, despite it being a divisive activity.

IROZ GAIZKA via Getty Images
Ivan Fandino has died in a bullring in France.

According to the League Against Cruel Sports, each year tens of thousands of bulls are maimed, tortured and killed for entertainment in Spain, Portugal, France, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.

Celebrity and vocal animal welfare advocate, Ricky Gervais, tweeted about the incident, saying “beautiful tortured bull defends itself”.

In France alone it is estimated that 1,000 bulls are killed in fights every year.

Animal welfare campaigners have spoken out about the matador’s death and the “tragic” number of animals slain every year.

Wendy Higgins, from Humane Society International, said: “The matador’s death is a tragedy but for the 1,000 bulls brutally killed in French bullfights every year, every single fight is a tragedy in which they have no chance of escaping a protracted and painful death.

“Blood sports like this should be consigned to the history books, no-one should lose their life for entertainment, human or animal.”