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© Santi Vaquero
On Sunday, July 7, the controversial running of the bulls of Pamplona, Spain, started again. 54 bulls are killed in the bullfights during these festivities of San Fermin. AnimaNaturalis, CAS International, Corazón Verde, and Libertad Animal Navarra held an action against the bull runs and bullfights in front of the bullring of Pamplona. With large white letters the activists formed the word STOP. CAS also witnessed the first running of the bulls. Our first impression is that the entire run must be very overwhelming for the bulls, who are used to a calm environment. Bulls will only attack when they feel threatened.
CAS was also present during the running of the bulls and a cruel event with bulls in the bullring of Pamplona. We have been documenting what we saw there.
Estefanía Pampín Zuidmeer, CAS International:
“More and more Spaniards are turning against this cruel tradition. 81% of the bullfighters did not have work in 2018 due to the reduced interest. Since 2007, the number of bullfights has fallen by almost 60%. Only 6.9% of the Spaniards still go to bullfighting and 93.1% do not.”
Jana Uritz of AnimaNaturalis:
“The word STOP reflects a growing sense of society”
The running of the bulls is often seen as innocent entertainment with bulls, but nothing is less true: the animals run to the arena under hectic circumstances, only to be killed there later on the day, during a bullfight. It often happens that the bulls get injured during the bull run. Meanwhile, bullfighting is very controversial in Spain.
A cruel event with young bulls right after the bull run © CAS International
European agricultural subsidies (130 million euro per year) are used to breed the 54 bulls that die in the bullfights of the San Fermín festival. The bull runs of Pamplona are by far the most famous of the 17,820 bull festivals that take place annually in Spain.
Irma Jiménez of Libertad Animal Navarra:”Iruñea [the name of Pamplona in Basque], once again, becomes stained with blood. We want cruelty-free festivals, in which they stop mistreating and killing bulls. We will not leave them alone. "
Josetxo Segarra of Corazón Verde: "If you do not agree with the gratuitous harm done to the animals, go out and say it, otherwise, with your silence, you will contribute to the continuation of these things."
Every year thousands of tourists from Spain, but also from other countries such as the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, etc. go to Pamplona to participate in the bull runs. Many foreign tourists do not know that the bulls that run will be killed. Pampin Zuidmeer:
“Many tourists are not aware of the atrocities associated with the running of the bulls. By protesting in Pamplona we want to inform these people on the spot. We also want to prevent more tourists from participating in the run in the future. "
See all pictures of the protest here!