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Home / Fire bull collapses from exhaustion in Medinaceli, Spain

Fire bull collapses from exhaustion in Medinaceli, Spain


At the controversial fire bull festival ‘Toro Jubilo’ in Medinaceli, Spain, the fire bull collapsed from exhaustion. From start to finish, the event lasted 48 minutes. The same night, the bull died of a brain haemorrhage, possibly after colliding with an ox. CAS International and AnimaNaturalis took undercover footage and recorded various abuses. They are filing charges against the organisers and the authorities.

Toro Jubilo

Toro Jubilo | © Aitor Garmendia / CAS International /AnimaNaturalis

On Saturday night, 12 November, the medieval festival Toro Jubilo took place again. This is an extremely cruel event involving a bull, where around midnight the bull’s horns are covered with a flammable substance and then set on fire. The way the event takes place has hardly changed since the Middle Ages.

Ever since the bull festival started, the bull had a bloodied mouth. Due to resistance from the animal, it took at least 10 minutes before it was released with ‘burning horns’. For animals, fire instinctively poses a great threat; the bull tried to extinguish it by banging its horns on the ground. Fireworks were also set off. After 48 minutes, the animal collapsed from exhaustion. It died the same night, possibly from brain haemorrhage after colliding with an ox. We are still waiting for the vet’s report.


From AnimaNaturalis and CAS International, we filed a complaint against the state government, the municipality of Medinaceli and the organisers of the fire festival for not following the regulations for spectacles with bulls of Castile and León. Also, the animal came out of its enclosure with a bloodied mouth. It is forbidden to hit or injure the animal.

Fire bulls take place not only in Medinaceli but also elsewhere in Spain. Some 2,500 fire bull festivals are also held in Catalonia and the state of Valencia. This year, we captured undercover footage of fire bulls in both regions.

More than 17,000 bull festivals take place in Spain every year. CAS International and AnimaNaturalis are currently conducting the largest ever investigation on the bull festivals in Spain. We want to bring this animal suffering to light, not only in Spain but also beyond. The majority of Spaniards oppose these types of events with bulls considered controversial.


Bull festivals of this kind receive municipal, regional and national subsidies. The breeding of bulls is partly financed by agricultural subsidies from the European Union. It is estimated that a total of €629 million of subsidy money goes to bullfighting and festivals with bulls in Spain. 130 million comes indirectly from agricultural subsidies from the European Union.

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