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Photos: Colourful Celebration Marks Cancellation of Bullfights in Pamplona

July 9, 2020 Photo Gallery No Comments Email Email

To mark the cancellation of this year’s Running of the Bulls, in which more Australians have taken part than Pamplona locals in past years, members of PETA UK and Spanish animal protection group AnimaNaturalis – some with bulls painted on their chest, others dressed in all-white running outfits – gathered in Pamplona yesterday, which would’ve been the first day of the infamous bull runs.

The protesters broke “banderillas” (props that simulated decorated darts used to plunge into the bulls neck and shoulders) containing multi-coloured powdered paint above their heads to signal what they hope is the start of a new era in Spain – one without bullfighting. Banners read, “No More Deaths. End Bullfighting.”

“The absence of this cruel spectacle this year should mark the new normal for bulls, who would otherwide have been chased, tormented, and killed in Pamplona,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “A permanent end to cruel bull runs and the gruesome spectacle of bullfighting is long overdue, and PETA is urging Australians to boycott any future events of this nature.”

As an overwhelming majority of the Spanish population refuses to attend these archaic, murderous spectacles, the bullfighting industry has been kept on its last legs in part by tourist money, including from Australians. 

“[O]f all the things that people will miss this year, bullfighting is not one of them,” says AnimaNaturalis Director Aïda Gascón Bosch. “Ninety-five per cent of the Spanish population does not attend this type of spectacle, but we all pay [for it] with public money.” 

In Pamplona, terrified bulls are forced to run along narrow streets on their way to a violent death in the bullring, often slipping and sliding along the way. Once there, men taunt, exhaust, and stab each bull with a lance and several harpoon-like banderillas until he becomes weakened from blood loss. Then, the matador stabs the exhausted animal with a sword, and if the bull doesn’t die straight away, other weapons are used to cut his spinal cord. Many bulls are paralysed but still conscious as their ears or tail are cut off to be given to the matador as trophies.

Earlier this year, PETA offered Pamplona’s mayor €250,000 (over $400,000) if he committed to permanently ending the cruel bull runs and subsequent bullfights. 

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.

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