No matter how fast they run, Pamplona’s bulls are doomed

By on July 8, 2016 with 13 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

It’s cruelty masquerading as celebration. Terrorized animals, thrust into a world of screaming, slick surfaces, physical torment, and, in the end, serial, protracted stabbing.

It’s the annual eight-day running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, as four dozen animals are chased down narrow cobblestone streets among thick, taunting crowds. They are funneled toward the bullring in town and later finished off by the picadors and matadors with their cutting swords and knives. It’s only by suspending any empathy for the animals that any participant or spectator to this carnage can deem this a joyful experience.

In the run-up to this year’s spectacle – after assembling investigative footage from 2015 — Animal Guardians and other groups (including Humane Society International) have released a video that tells the real story, stripped bare of the senseless reverie and phony thrill-seeking that accompanies it. You’ll see how the whole thing culminates for the animals – with open-air, unpunished acts of malicious cruelty.

Besides the running of the bulls, thousands of bull fiestas are held across Spain each year where, once again, the animals are tortured and killed. At fire bull fiestas, for instance, bulls’ horns are set alight and the animals teased by onlookers while firecrackers explode all around. This week, HSI and its partners won a long battle when we succeeded in putting a stop to this year’s Toro de la Vega, which takes place annually in Tordesillas, Castile and in the León region of Spain. The event involves hordes of spear-wielding men on horseback chasing and stabbing a bull to death.

We are zeroing in on the world’s most appalling spectacles of malice to animals, including bullfighting. And there’s growing worldwide disfavor with this gratuitous violence toward innocent animals. Between 2011 and 2015, there was a 25 percent decline in the number of bull fiestas. A poll commissioned by HSI last year found that 74 percent of Spaniards opposed the Toro de la Vega event. Many of the bull fiestas are partly or wholly funded by public subsidies, and the poll showed that most citizens did not think public funds should be used to support them. Some Spanish cities, such as Calonge, Tossa de Mar, Vilamacolum, and La Vajol, have independently outlawed the practice of bullfighting and, in 2012, historic legislation came into force after politicians voted to ban the outdated tradition in the Spanish region of Catalonia.

Taking on battles to end animal cruelty in foreign cultures can be difficult, as we often find ourselves aligned against apologists who invoke tradition and culture as a defense for cruelty. But with persistence, we can pull back this cloak of culture with the result that sensible people will recognize naked cruelty when they see it. HSI has, over the years, won some pretty impressive battles, like ending the world’s largest animal sacrifice at the Gadhimai festival in Nepal, where half a million animals were slaughtered. In Spain, and in other countries, we will continue our fight against outmoded and cruel blood sports, including those that masquerade as tradition.

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13 Comments

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  1. LINDA SCHULTZ says:

    THIS ENTIRE PLANET NEEDS TO END THE OUTRAGEOUS AMOUNT OF ANIMAL TORTURE NOW!!! WHEN IS EVERYONE GOING TO HAVE RESPECT,COMPASSION,AND LOVE FOR OUR ANIMALS THAT SHARE THIS PLANET WITH THE HUMAN RACE,WHO ARE THE ONLY ONES DESTROYING EVERYTHING THEY POSSIBLY CAN WITH NO REGARD FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OR THE WELL BEING OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM, OR THIER HABITATS AS WELL AS OURS. DOES ANYONE LEARN MORALS,AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG ANYMORE? DOES NOT SEEM LIKE IT.

  2. Denise Cunningham says:

    I lost my other feed! I am so upset I have tears down my cheeks. Maybe one way to reach the Spanish public could be trying to reach out to some of the tennis community. Tennis is huge in Spain. Rafael Nadal seems like a good guy!!

  3. Ana escobar says:

    Why do Humans feel good about doing this cruelty acts to our defenseless animals? I am sadden to see this, it breaks my heart.

  4. Giuliana Rinaldo says:

    More people and the various animal advocacy groups need to openly protest these events together in the strength of numbers. Also, the Spanish government needs to take the initiative to seriously and firmly let the abusive Spaniards and tourists who partake in these cruel, sadistic killings that is not not going to be legally tolerated anymore and that the bulls’ welfare are legally protected.

    In the past few years I have written extensive letters to different Spanish governments with petitions urging the legal protection of bulls against bullfights and cruel events and I’m hoping for a time, soon for the Spanish governments to legally end the violence against the bulls.
    Also, I would like to see a serious legal representation for global animal rights within The United Nations.

    Cruelty is NOT culture, it’s hateful, sadistic violence and terrorism against any species, including animals.

    I love bulls – they’re amazing animals that deserve to live with peace, dignity, and respect!

  5. KIKUE NISHIO says:

    LOVE&PEACE

  6. Caroline says:

    Great work Wayne and associates. We live in Spain and are noticing some changes coming from the locals too. We will get there. If people are devoid of empathy we need to ban those opportunities for very unhealthy “intertainment”, they just have to go the way gladiators games were phased out.

  7. Giuliana Rinaldo says:

    There needs to be more press on the atrocity of not only what they do at the end of the running of the bulls, but all these cruel atrocities against the bulls in these so called fiestas. The press reports the running of the bulls and does not give all sides – people need to know and should know because they don’t – I didn’t before I was involved in animal advocacy and read the news from the advocacy groups, like HSUS online.

    I also feel the Spanish government needs to take responsibility and should be obligated to legally protect the welfare of the bulls, as they seem to practice discrimination by catering to a small portion of the people who partake in these cruel practices against bulls. The majority of Spaniards DON’T condone or partake in these cruelties.

    I also would like to start seeing serious, formal governmental and legal representation for all animals in the world in the United Nations – the time is overdue. I feel the big animal advocacy groups the have international status, like the HSUS, WWF, and PETA find a way to influence and implement this. The United Nations may have international guidelines in handling and managing animals, but it’s not enforced and not seriously legal enough and it should be.

    I am so outraged, livid, and fed-up about the cruelty of the bulls and all animal abuse, as I know billions of people all around the world are – I know because I have been apart of countless petitions and letters and read many statements from people all around the world who also partake in these petitions.

    I love all animals and I love bulls and they all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and live in peace from human cruelty and neglect.

    Stop breeding bulls to use them for cruel, sadistic amusement or cruelties in general, as this is morbid and criminal and exacerbates violent and criminal tendencies in people. Cruelty is NOT cultural, it’s violent, sadistic terrorism and we trying to fight global terrorism and so we should do it on behalf the animals, as well!

  8. Chele says:

    Bull chit. When is this going to stop. Been signing petitions for years…

  9. Jacqueline Carr says:

    Jacqueline Carr vtbirch531@gmail.com
    Where is the voice of Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church against these vile, horrific, and evil acts done to God’s non-human animal creation? I simply don’t understand the silence or inaction! In what is a “Catholic nation” surely that voice could/should be used to help bring an end to the suffering, torture, and barbarity.

  10. Doris Muller says:

    Pardon my lack of empathy for the death of the bull torturer/joy killer. Justice for the bulls is so scarce:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bullfighter-victor-barrio-killed-spain-first-time-30-years-live-tv/

    This joy killer was exulted for his brutal, vicious, career of torturing and slaughtering bulls for fame, fortune, and joy. However, if spectators didn’t gather to view and get a thrill over this egregious horror, there would not be a reason to continue such vicious torture of an animal for entertainment.

    It’s of serious concern that so many humans value this type of brutality. And it’s heart-wrenching and unacceptable that such spectacles are legal.

  11. d says:

    satan is hard at work

  12. GT says:

    If you cannot handle other people’s cultures, shut up and stay home with the rest of the iPhone Lemmings.

    • Kelly Hughart says:

      While it’s true that we should not support bullfights by attending them, keeping quiet on this matter is unacceptable. We need to speak out on it and make our voices heard, otherwise, the torturing and killing of these animals will continue.

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