First year without traditional Toro de la VegaThursday, September 8th 2016
First year without traditional Toro de la Vega © PACMA
Traditionally, a bull would be chased and killed by hundreds of men on foot and horseback armed with lances, during the local festivities of Tordesillas, Spain, on the second Tuesday of September. This year, though, the traditional Toro de la Vega, planned on September 13, will not be allowed to take place.
Last year, more than 100,000 persons protested in Madrid against Toro de la Vega. This event had been the topic of discussion in the public opinion for years. In May, the state of Castile and León decided to prohibit the killing of the bull during the event due to national and international pressure. Toro de la Vega does not any longer conform to the values of current Spanish society.
Many long years of campaigning
Protest against Toro de la Vega in Madrid 2015 © CAS International
Toro de la Vega is one of the most important campaigns of CAS International in the last 10 years. Since 2006 we have worked with PACMA, and later also with HSI, in the campaign ‘Rompe una lanza’ (break a lance) to get this event forbiden by annually lobbying and protesting in Tordesillas, Valladolid and Madrid. CAS International has spend thousands of euros in this campaign yearly. We also travelled many times to spain with volunteers from the Netherlands and Belgium to show that not only many Spaniards, but also many Europeans do not longer accept this animal abuse. At the start of this campaign, hardly anyone in Spain or abroad knew what happened in Tordesillas on an annual basis. In the past years, more and more organizations and individuals have joined the struggle against this barbarous feast.
Documentary about Toro de la Vega
n September 2015, CAS International travelled with Karen Soeters, founder of the Dutch website about animals and nature PiepVandaag.nl, to Tordesillas to film the event undercover. Bull Rompesuelas died a terrible death that day. Unfortunately we were not able to save Rompesuelas, but a lot of people could see the documentary PiepVandaag made (only in Dutch available):
In the past, during Toro de la Vega, a bull was killed with lances by hundreds of men on horses and by foot. De government of Castile and León has decided to forbid the death of the bull in public during traditional feasts with bulls in the whole state. In Castile and León there actually is only one festivity during which the bull is killed: Toro de la Vega. However, the law of Castile and León dictates that all bulls used in events must be killed within 24 hours after its use. This means that the bull will no longer be killed in public, but later, out of the audience’s sight.
Furthermore, the old regulation dating from 1999 states that it is allowed to inflict actions on the bull that are inherent to the celebration of the traditional spectacle. This means that the use of lances on the animal was permitted. This sentence has now been removed in the law. We do not know how to interpret this. In the law it is not stated explicitly that it is forbidden to injure the animal with lances. According to a spokesman of the government of Castile and León it will no longer be allowed to use the lances, but this is not made explicit in the law.
This year, Toro de la Vega will be replaced by Toro de la Peña, a bull run in which it is not allowed to injure or kill the bull. But the bull will be killed within 24 hours after the event, as the law of the state dictates. Please keep an eye on our social media and website for news about Toro de la Peña on Tuesday 13 september. We hope that the inhabitants of Tordesillas will follow the law not to maltreat the bull and kill it themselves.
Adopt a bull
You can adopt bull Marius © CAS International
We think it is unacceptable to use a bull for Toro de la Peña and afterwards kill it within 24 hours after the event. We have tried to rescue Pelado (the bull that will be used during Toro de la Peña) and give him a chance to live. We have contacted sanctuaries asking them to give shelter to the bull. Unfortunately, we were not successful in rescuing Pelado, because he will be so traumatized after the event that it is not possible to hold him in a sanctuary (these do not have adequate installations for him and he can bring other animals or people working there in danger). It is very sad we cannot rescue Pelado. However, through CAS International you can adopt a bull or a cow that has been successfully rescued from the bullfighting sector.
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