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Not so sweet: Christmas biscuits renamed to scrap 'bull torture' link

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Not so sweet: Christmas biscuits renamed to scrap 'bull torture' link
Photo: AFP
10:51 CET+01:00
A family business in Spain has reluctantly changed the name of its famous El Toro Vega biscuits after customers threatened to boycott the product named after a highly controversial bull lancing event.

“Unfair” but the good name of the business “must come first”.

That's the verdict on the name change from Carlos Galicia, the director of Valladolid-based sweets maker Dulces Galicia which has been making the shortbread-style El Toro Vega biscuits for half a century.

The 150-year-old company is hoping to boost production of the famous sweets by 10 percent to a hefty 120,000kg this year but has caved to demands from distributors to rebrand the sweets so that they are not linked to the Toro de la Vega festival.

This festival - one of one of Spain's most controversial taurine events – involves a bull being chased through the streets of the town of Tordesillas by lancers whose aim is to kill the animal.

It's a tradition said to date back to the 15th century but in recent years, there has been a growing chorus of criticism surrounding the event

On the weekend before the 2015 edition of the Toro de la Vega festival, an estimated 100,000 people took to the streets of Madrid to protest, while the event itself saw violent clashes between supporters of the festival and animal rights activists.

Fury over the festival has even reached Dulces Galicia with some customers calling for a boycott of the biscuit that bears its name.

Company director Carlos Galicia is not pleased about the name change but is keen to stress the “the quality of the sweet is the most important thing of all with customers asking for it year after year”.      

According to Spanish animal welfare organization Observatorio Justicia y Defensa Animal, around 3,000 individual fiestas which violate animal protection laws take place around Spain every year.

These cause suffering and in some cases death to more than 60,000 animals, the group claims.

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