• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Spanish town bans bizarre duck throwing festival
The woman repeatedly swings the duck at the activist. Photo: Animal Rescue España

Spanish town bans bizarre duck throwing festival

The Local · 2 Mar 2016, 11:20

Published: 02 Mar 2016 11:20 GMT+01:00

The town of Roses in Catalonia has voted to ban what has to be one of Spain’s most unusual - and controversial - festivals.

The annual "duck chase" is held every August in the seaside town, during which ducks are thrown into the Mediterranean and then caught and brought back to shore by swimmers.

The event caused a stir last year when a woman attacked an animal rights campaigner with a duck, holding it by the legs and repeatedly hitting him with the animal.

Now the town council in Roses has approved a motion to ban the tradition, which has been celebrated in the town for 97 years.

The vote was close, in the end approved with eight votes in favour, seven against and one abstention.

"Times change and society is going down a different path," said mayor of Roses, Montse Mindan, who had campaigned for the ban. 

The duck throwing festival has been celebrated for nearly a century in the coastal town, during the August Festa Major festivities.

Ducks are thrown into the sea from a boat, where they are chased and caught by bathers, who receive a prize when they take the animals to the shore.

Roses has also voted to ban its annual bull run, or correbous, known as "les vaquetes de Roses".

"These celebrations are extremely controversial, since they are now considered to be cases of animal abuse, and are celebrated every year among protests," the motion to ban the practices read.

"A large portion of society no longer accepts the use of animals in entertainment and the protection of animals is an important value for today’s society."

Story continues below…

Spain has many controversial animal-based traditions, often in honour of patron saints, which animal rights groups argue are cruel.

Bull runs, where people run ahead of a pack of half-tonne fighting bulls, are a part of summer festivals across the country - the most famous during the San Fermin feria in Pamplona.

But towns and cities across the country are increasingly becoming more vocal about animal rights. 

Nearly 300 towns have banned animal circuses and the Balearic Islands recently became the latest region to ban bullfighting. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pamplona fights fiesta urine with walls that 'pee back'
Men queue up for a portable urinal. But not all bother to wait in line. Photo: Fiona Govan

It's 'pee-back' time in Pamplona as authorities get tough over public urination.

Brexit
Spanish PM opposes EU talks with Scotland after Brexit
Sturgeon met Junker in Brussels on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Mariano Rajoy said that Madrid would oppose Scotland having any role in talks between Britain and the European Union after the Brexit vote.

Brexit
Gibraltar 'in talks' with Scotland to remain in the EU
Gibraltar remains defiant in face of Spanish claims. Photo: AFP

Could Gibraltar team up with Scotland to remain in the EU after Brexit?

Catalonia ex-president faces trial over illegal 'referendum'
Artur Mas faces trial for his role in symbolic plebiscite. Photo: AFP

Artur Mas and two other officials are accused of overstepping authority by staging a mock independence referendum in November 2014 in defiance of a ban from Spain’s Constitutional Court.

Woman fined after 'stealing' her own dog from kennels
Photo: Patrick Theiner/Flickr

The woman in Mallorca took her dog without filling out the necessary paperwork.

Barcelona ups fine for illegal home-rentals to €600,000
Companies like Airbnb will now face fines of up to €600,000 for illegal lodgings. Photo: AFP

Barcelona has imposed a 20-fold hike in the maximum fine that can be given to home rental sites like Airbnb if they promote illegal accommodation.

Spain's animal rights party wins record votes in election
Pacma members protesting against bullfighting. Photo: AFP

An animal rights party in Spain won a record number of votes in weekend elections in a country where opposition to bullfighting is more and more vocal.

The ultimate guide to Madrid Gay Pride 2016
Photo: Missiz Me/Flickr.

From a two million-strong parade to fiestas across the city, the Madrid Gay Pride Festival 2016 promises to be one of the best yet. The Local takes a look at the highlights.

The bright side of Brexit: The 'good news' for Brits in Spain
Could Brexit be a reason to celebrate in Spain? Photo: AFP

Well the UK voted to Leave the EU, the pound is tumbling, and stock markets have been in turmoil, but it's not all bad news for Brits living and working in Spain... right?

Spanish arrest Russian mafia in money laundering probe
Photo: Civil Guard / Interior Ministry

The massive bust saw eight people arrested amd 191 properties across Spain seized.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
PP win most seats and PSOE cling on to second place
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
International
Brexit limbo: What happens next for expat Brits in Spain?
Politics
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
International
Worried after Brexit? Here’s how to become Spanish
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
International
Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win
Travel
The intern's guide to surviving a summer in Spain
National
The weird and wonderful ways Spain celebrates midsummer
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
International
Spain REALLY wants Britain to stay in EU and here's why
National
Don't jump! Officials in Spain warn against 'balconing' craze
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Girl's best friend: Four-year-old finds comfort with a bull
Politics
Hilarious video pokes fun at expats in Spain over Brexit
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
International
Meet the Spaniard working as North Korea's secret weapon
National
Sheep invade Spanish city after shepherd takes a snooze
Features
Five brilliant ways to beat the crowds in Barcelona
National
Experts warn of jellyfish boom across Spain's beaches
Politics
Are these the weirdest political campaign ads ever?
National
Giant inflatable poo goes walkies from town square
Lifestyle
Spanish study proves fat really ISN'T bad for you
National
President Obama announces three-day visit to Spain in July
3,378
jobs available