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Home / Protest against return of bull festivals after nearly 10 years in San Fernando de Henares

Protest against return of bull festivals after nearly 10 years in San Fernando de Henares


In the municipality of San Fernando de Henares, near the Spanish capital Madrid, the cruel bull festivals returned after almost 10 years of absence. CAS International and AnimaNaturalis protested against this.

San Fernando de Henares © CAS International & AnimaNaturalis

The mayor of San Fernando de Henares announced the return of the running of the bulls and recortadores this year. In the running of the bulls, a group of people runs with the bulls towards the bullring, where they are later killed in a bullfight. Recortadores are events where people jump over a bull. The bulls are not killed, but it is a stressful event for the animals.

Since 2013, these festivities did not take place. Despite the opposition of the local political parties, the bull festivals are still held again. This represents a regression in this municipality when it comes to animal welfare. On May 29, CAS International and AnimaNaturalis protested against the return of these cruel events. More than one hundred residents of San Fernando de Henares participated in our protest.

18,000 bull festivals

Spain has more than 18,000 bull festivals per year. Until recently, San Fernando de Henares was among the municipalities that had stopped this animal suffering. According to Jaime Posada, coordinator of AnimaNaturalis in Madrid, no one misses these types of bull festivals. He finds it strange that public money is spent on cruel bull festivals, rather than the basic needs of society. In fact, sectors such as health care need more financial support after two years of pandemic.

Cattle farms

Livestock farms where fighting bulls are bred are seeing the end of their income. Public interest in bullfighting has declined sharply over the past 10 years. According to data from Spain’s Ministry of Culture, between 2007 and 2017 the number of bullfights fell by 58.4 percent in the country. And only 9.5 percent of Spaniards went to a bullfight between 2014-2015. Of these, 2 of every 10 visitors received a free ticket. In addition, we know than in 2018, 90.5 percent of Spaniards did not attend a bull festival. In the survey, 40 percent expressed no interest in events with bulls. Furthermore, it emerged that 20 percent do not know the rules of bullfighting. Because of the lack of interest from the public, the bullfighting industry now focuses on the bull festivals, to keep making money. The number of cruel events with bulls is declining, but not nearly as much as the bullfighting industry.

AnimaNaturalis and CAS International are working together in a campaign against the cruel bull festivals in Spain. We are currently conducting the largest and deepest research ever into the more than 18,000 bull festivals that take place in Spain each year. We want to expose the animal suffering hidden in fiestas and traditions in thousands of villages. Sign our petition against the cruel bull festivals in Spain: Blood Fiestas.

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