Dozens in Medieval Torture Devices Protest Against Pamplona’s Bullfights

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3 min read

Ahead of the festival of San Fermín in Spain—which includes the Running of the Bulls and 60 bullfights—a group of “bloodied” PETA and AnimaNaturalis supporters gathered in the Plaza Consistorial.

Wearing “bull horns” and trapped in medieval torture devices, the protesters symbolized the suffering of the 60 bulls who will be stabbed and slaughtered in front of jeering crowds.

Demonstrators in torture gear and bull horns

During the 2024 Running of the Bulls, six humans—including one who was gored by a taunted bull and one American—have been injured so far. The dangerous spectacle results in injuries to hundreds of runners each year, and a total of 16 humans have died during the event. But while most participants escape with minor injuries, the bulls aren’t so lucky.

Why You Should Skip the Running of the Bulls

Every year, bulls are forced to scramble down Pamplona’s narrow streets as they run from a jeering mob. They often injure themselves as they slip on the cobbled ground or crash into walls while attempting to escape the crowd.

These bulls have typically had little interaction with humans previously, and suddenly being thrust among a horde is distressing and overwhelming.

Many people who attend this cruel spectacle don’t realize that the same bulls they run from down the streets are tortured to death in the bullring later the same day.

Disturbing Violence at Pamplona’s San Fermín Festival

During these events, assailants on horses drive lances into a bull’s back and neck before others plunge banderillas into his back, inflicting acute pain whenever he turns his head and impairing his range of motion. Eventually, when the bull becomes weak from blood loss, a matador appears and attempts to kill the animal by plunging a sword into his lungs or, if that fails, cutting his spinal cord with a knife. The bull may be paralyzed but still conscious as his ears or tail are cut off and presented to the matador as a trophy and his body is dragged from the arena.

Read more about the horrific exploitation of bulls during Pamplona’s San Fermín festival:

Why PETA Urges Everyone to Steer Clear of the Running of the Bulls
Nearly naked protestors covered in fake blood wearing bull horns

Torture, Not Tradition

More than 125 Spanish towns and cities have rejected the torment and butchering of bulls for entertainment, but in Pamplona, this cruel spectacle continues.

Bullfights, like gladiator combat or public human executions, must be consigned to the history books.

PETA is encouraging the Spanish public to support the #NoEsMiCultura Popular Legislative Initiative, spearheaded by animal rights activists in Spain, which aims to repeal the law that designates bullfighting as “cultural heritage” and enable Spanish communities to prohibit this cruel blood sport.

You Can Help Bulls

Please sign our petition to the mayor of Pamplona urging him to end this barbaric slaughter now:

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