Ahead of the annual Running of the Bulls in Spain, around 100 activists from all over the world gathered in the centre of Pamplona, Spain. With “Stop Bullfights” emblazoned in black paint on their nearly naked bodies, their message was clear.
The activists snapped banderilla props filled with powdered red paint above their heads, filling the sky with a cloud of “blood”. As the “blood” settled, they held up signs in English and Spanish with a reminder for festival-goers: “Bulls Die a Bloody Death in Pamplona”.
Among the protesters was 30-year-old Stacie Allis from Mooloolaba in Queensland.
“Torturing and killing animals can never be justified as entertainment.” – Stacie Allis
Banderillas are bright sticks with a harpoon point on the end which bullfighters drive into the bull’s back, neck, and other body parts in the bullring. Once he’s weakened and exhausted – blood pouring from his wounds – the matador stabs him with a sword. The matador‘s aim is often inaccurate, and if the sword pierces the bull’s lungs instead of his heart, it can cause him to drown in his own blood. Should the matador fail to kill him, an executioner enters the ring to cut his spinal cord with a dagger, before he’s chained and dragged out of the arena – often paralysed but still conscious.
Dozens of bulls are killed every year at the festival. Their deaths are prolonged, painful and played out in front of a jeering crowd. There is no getting around the fact that Australian tourists who flock to run with the bulls every year are complicit in this bloodshed.
What many people don’t realise is that bullfighting is something many Spanish people are working hard to end, with more than 100 Spanish cities and towns having already banned such events.
What You Can Do
Never attend or take part in any bullfights or bull runs. Please also join PETA UK’s campaign asking the Prime Minister of Spain to outlaw these cruel events.