Today, more than 100 activists marched to the beat of drums towards the Plaza Consistorial in Pamplona, Spain, holding signs proclaiming, “Stop the Bloody Bullfights.” The supporters of PETA affiliates and Spanish animal-protection group AnimaNaturalis – half of whom were “runners” and half of whom were “bulls” – shot blood-red flares into the sky to call for an end to the city’s yearly torment and killing of bulls at the San Fermín festival’s hideously cruel Running of the Bulls event.
Aussies account for the biggest proportion of foreign runners at the cruel event, all seemingly oblivious to the fact that every single one of the terrified animals they chase through the cobbled streets will be dead a few hours later after being repeatedly stabbed to death in a bullfight.
Among the protesters was Melbourne-based PETA Australia supporter Skye Mortensen, who explained her reason for heading to Pamplona to join the demonstration:
I was proud to represent the vast majority of people around the world, whose tolerance of the archaic, murderous spectacle of bullfighting ran out long ago. It’s time that Pamplona stopped allowing terrified bulls to be speared and stabbed to death for this form of so-called “entertainment” that’s nothing more than bloodlust.
The tide is turning on these archaic bloodbaths. Today, more than 100 Spanish towns and cities have banned bullfighting and over 80 per cent of Spanish people are demanding a ban – but this industry is kept on its last legs in large part because of tourist money. In Pamplona, bulls are still tormented with electric prods and sharp sticks before slipping and sliding along the narrow streets on their way to a violent death in the bullring. Once there, as many as eight men taunt, beat, and jab each bull with daggers and harpoon-like banderillas until he becomes weakened from blood loss. Then, the matador stabs the exhausted animal with a sword and an “executioner” cuts his spinal cord. Many bulls are paralysed but still conscious when they’re then chained and dragged out of the arena.
PETA affiliates and other animal-protection groups have long protested Pamplona’s annual bloodbath. And you can help. Pedro Sánchez has just been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Spain, giving him the opportunity to make a massive difference for animals by banning cruel bullfights and bull runs. Please sign our petition calling on him to support a national ban on bullfights and bull runs.