‘Tortured’ Activists Converge on Pamplona in Provocative Push to End Bullfighting

For Immediate Release:
July 5, 2024

Rachel Hershkovitz 202-483-7382

Pamplona, Spain

Today, ahead of the festival of San Fermín, which includes the Running of the Bulls, a group of “bloodied” supporters of PETA and AnimaNaturalis wearing “bull horns” were trapped in medieval torture devices at the Plaza Consistorial to symbolize the torture of the 60 bulls who will be stabbed and slaughtered in front of jeering crowds. The activists also walked part of the route that the bulls are forced to run before they’re violently killed. High quality photos and video of the action are available here.

PETA UK protesters in Spain protesting running of the bulls
Credit: PETA UK

“Every year, terrified bulls are driven through Pamplona’s crowded streets before they meet a prolonged and agonizing death in the bullring,” says PETA Vice President for Europe Mimi Bekhechi. “Culture and tradition are no excuse for cruelty, and it’s high time the violent slaughter of these vulnerable animals ends.”

Tens of thousands of bulls are slaughtered annually in bullfighting festivals around the world. 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.

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

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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