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The running of the bulls of Pamplona 2020 is canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Feria de San Isidro in Madrid has also been canceled. This is a festival that takes place in the spring and in which several bullfights are organized in the Spanish capital. The bull runs of Pamplona and the Feria de San Isidro are the two most important events with bulls in Spain.
The COVID-19 outbreak is causing many sad news and concerns about the future. But there are also positive developments to report. The bullfighting sector has been hard hit by the coronavirus. In Spain, France and Portugal, for example, 2,000 bullfights and cruel feasts with bulls have already been canceled. Day by day, the chances that any bullfight will take place this year are diminishing.
Running of the bulls Pamplona
The Pamplona bull run during the San Fermin festival attracts tourists from all over the world. Given current developments in Spain, which is still in a state of emergency,, and due to the high risk of the emergence new waves of corona infected people, many planned events have been canceled in the coming months. It has been considered to move the running of the bulls of Pamplona to a later date this year. However, the municipality of Pamplona itself sees that the chance to pospone the San Fermin festival is small. Maite Esporrín, city councilor in Pamplona, indicates that it is out of the question that the San Fermin festivities will take place in July. It will also not be possible, because now is the time to make reservations and conclude contracts, and that is not happening.
Protest against the running of the bulls in Pamplona 2019 © Santi Vaquero
CAS International is satisfied with this news. We have been fighting to stop the running of the bulls of Pamplona for many years. Last year we traveled to Pamplona where we protested and also filmed in the bullring, at an event that takes place immediately after the run, where young cows are chased by the audience. This year, the cows and bulls have been given some rest.
In France, it is now certain that no bullfights will take place until mid-July. At least 70 bullfights have also been canceled in Mexico. And Colombia goes a step further by banning all mass events in the next 18 months. This means that the upcoming bullfighting season, which usually starts in October and ends in March, is lost.
Bullfights in Madrid
The municipality of Madrid officially announced that the Feria de San Isidro has been canceled and expects it to take place in 2021. CAS International planned to protest againt the San Isidro's bullfights in Madrid, but fortunately that is not necessary now. Last year we were there, like many years before.
Protest of AnimaNaturalis and CAS International in Madrid, May 2019 © CAS International
And the bulls?
Meanwhile, there is also news about the destination of the bulls. Some go back to the breeding farms where they come from. But the older bulls are being sent to the slaughterhouses. According to the rules, a bull may not be older than 6 years of age to participate in a bullfight. Last week, 200 bulls were taken to the slaughterhouse in Seville. Bulls that live longer also cost more money and will increase in price. The chance that someone still wants to buy them is very small. When the animals are not profitable, they end up in the slaughterhouse.
Cruel feasts with bulls
CAS International and AnimaNaturalis are working in a joint campaign that aims to end the cruel feasts with bulls in Spain. We are currently conducting the largest and deepest investigation ever into the more than 18,000 bull feasts that take place in Spain every year. We want to bring to light the animal suffering that takes place in festivals and traditions in thousands of villages. We will continue this campaign during the corona crisis. We can't film at bull festivals right now. During this period we continue working out all the information we've collected so far for this campaign. Crucial information that is needed to stop bullfights and Pamplona's bull runs in the future.