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Home / Catalonia is step away from banning the three most cruel bull festivals

Catalonia is step away from banning the three most cruel bull festivals


The Catalan political parties En Comú Podem and the CUP have reached an agreement to pass a change in the law regulating popular festivals with bulls in Catalonia. The aim of the agreement is to ban the three most cruel bull festivals in Catalonia: toro embolado, toro ensogado and toro en la playa. AnimaNaturalis and CAS International are working in the campaign Fiestas Crueles for a ban on the bull festivals.

Toro Jubilo

Screenshort video CAS & AnimaNaturalis

Cruel bull festivals

In el Toro Embolado (the fire bull), the horns of the bull or cow are wrapped in flammable material and then set on fire. This event is very stressful for the animal, who frequently suffers burns. In el toro ensogado, a bull is tied to a rope, which limits the animal’s movement. People run back and forth during this event, chasing the bull, which is very stressful. Toro en la playa is a bull festival where the animal is forced to jump into the sea. The bulls become exhausted and sometimes the animals do not manage to swim back, resulting in a drowning death.

The toro embolado and toro ensogado are among the two most popular forms of bull festivities, constituting almost half of the 450 events with bulls that take place annually in Catalonia. These are the bull festivities that cause the most fear and stress to the animals.

The main reason for adapting the legislation is the social evolution that has taken place in Catalonia over the past twenty years. From society there are increasingly loud calls to ban the cruel bull festivals. This is how bullfighting came to an end in Catalonia: first it was banned by the Catalan Parliament, then the Constitutional Court in Madrid cancelled the ban. And yet there is so little interest from Catalan society in bullfights that they have not taken place since 2012.


To change Law 34/2020 – the law that regulates the events with bulls – there must first be support in the parliamentary vote. Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana are essential to make a ban successful. We have a lot of work to do in the coming months to get that support.

Furthermore, this issue will not lead to a debate in the Parliament of Catalonia, as it decided in 2019 to abolish correbous (bull festivals). Unfortunately, the Catalan government has not yet taken a step towards a ban.

The bill focuses only on the most cruel bull festivals, and not on vaquillas (events with young cows), bull runs and bullfights where the animal is not killed.

Prou Correbous

The initiative has been made possible thanks to the work of the Prou Correbous platform, where AnimaNaturalis has joined forces with eight local organizations to effectively end these cruel traditions against animals. AnimaNaturalis and CAS International will continue their joint campaign against the cruel bull festivals in Spain. We are currently conducting the largest and deepest investigation ever into the more than 18,000 bull festivals that take place in Spain each year. We want to expose the animal suffering that is hidden in fiestas and traditions in thousands of villages. AnimaNauralis shares the knowledge from our joint project with the above mentioned platform.

Sign our petition against the cruel bull festivals in Spain: Blood Fiestas.

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