Animal rights activists have strongly condemned a controversial Spanish festival where flaming balls are attached to a bull’s horns. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has demanded an immediate ban on the event, rallying their global base of nine million members and supporters to pressure the local government in Soria, Spain.
PETA has accused the authorities in Soria of tarnishing Spain’s international image by permitting such a festival. They were alerted to the event’s cruel practices through “disturbing footage” provided by AnimaNaturalis, an organization dedicated to defending animal rights in Spain and Latin America.
The contentious Toro Júbilo, or ‘Fire Bull’ festival, is held annually in November in Medinaceli. The footage revealed alarming scenes of a bull, with fiery balls affixed to its horns, panicking in a ring amidst a cheering audience. According to PETA, the bull is restrained while sticky balls of pitch are attached to its horns and ignited. The frightened animal is then released to run through the streets.
The animal rights group has highlighted the extreme distress and harm this causes to the bulls. In their panic, the animals often collide with walls, attempting to escape the flames that can burn for hours. This ordeal often results in severe burns to their horns, eyes, and bodies, causing significant pain and stress.
PETA underscored the gravity of the situation by mentioning an incident from the previous year’s festival, where a bull died and was hastily removed to allow the festivities to continue.
Mimi Bekhechi, PETA’s vice president for UK and Europe, stated: “Attaching balls of burning pitch to a live animal is barbaric and puts a stain on Spain’s reputation in the international community. PETA is calling on Spanish authorities to put an end to this violent bull-burning festival and replace it with a new celebration that leaves animals in peace instead of in flames.”
PETA is urging people worldwide to contact Spanish officials, advocating for the permanent cancellation of this cruel event.
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