Shocking footage shows bull set on fire during fiesta

Animal rights activists secretly filmed celebrations in the town of Medinaceli on Saturday, when a bull was caked in mud and had balls of fire attached to its horns.

Shocking footage shows bull set on fire during fiesta
Burning balls are attached to the bull's horns in Medinaceli. Photo: Pacma

Pacma, the Spanish political party calling for animal rights, said the bull suffered an “excruciating 13 minutes of torture” as the dried mud caught fire while the animal writhed and bucked in a desperate panic to dislodge fireworks from its horns.

The shocking footage was taken at the “Toro Jubilo”, a tradition awarded special cultural protection by the Spanish government.

Campaigners are calling for “barbaric practice” to be banned. The fiesta took place in Medinaceli, a town near Soria in Spain’s Castilla y Leon region.

Organisers limit numbers to the spectacle and only provide access to those with tickets in a bit to prevent protests from animal rights campaigners.

But Pacma members managed to sneak past security guards and police to film the event on Saturday night.

“Organisers decided to only allow access to people with invitations so even journalists were banned,” said a spokesman from Pacma.

“But we still managed to get through and record the shocking scenes.”

WATCH: Pacma filmed the Toro Jubilo fiesta in Medinaceli.

They released the video that shows a bull named Mancheguito trying desperately to dislodge the fireworks from its horns as onlookers shout and jeers.

“The animal would probably have been blinded because of the fire burning its cornea as well as being injured because of its continuous head shaking as it tried to get the wood loose,” said a statement.

Earlier this year the regional government of Castilla y Leon outlawed the killing of bulls in traditional festivals which was hailed as a partial victory for animal rights campaigners.

But the Toro Jubilo tradition is exempt under the ban because the bull is taken away to be killed in a slaughterhouse rather than in public view.

The decree does however put an end to the Toro de la Vega, a controversial festival that took place in the town of Tordisillas and saw crowds on foot and on horseback chase a bull and stab it with lances until it died.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


PETA offers cash to ban Pamplona’s famous running of the bulls forever

With the news last week that the Spanish city of Pamplona in Navarra has been forced to cancel its bull running fiesta for the second year running due to the Covid crisis, animal rights activists have seized on the opportunity to call for it to be banned permanently.

PETA offers cash to ban Pamplona’s famous running of the bulls forever
A shot from the encierro on July 7th 2019. Photo: AFP

PETA are writing to the mayor of Pamplona with the offer of €298,000 if the Navarran city ceases the use of bulls during their fiesta altogether.

“People around the world, including in Spain, say it’s past time the torment and slaughter of animals for human entertainment were stopped,” says PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk in her appeal to Pamplona mayor, Enrique Maya.

“Now is the moment to be on the right side of history. We hope you will accept our offer and allow Pamplona to reinvent itself for the enjoyment of all.”

Each morning during the eight day festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, which bursts into celebration at midday on July 6th, six fighting bulls and six steers are released to run through the narrow streets of the old town to the bullring where the bulls are killed in the evening corridas.

Hundreds run alongside the animals in the morning dash which often results in gorings, and injuries from being stomped on after runners lose their footing in the crowds.

The festival, which was made world famous by Ernest Hemingway, who set his 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises” during San Fermin, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the party each year.

The festival, which sees Pamplona’s population swell from just under 200,000 to more than a million, is estimated to bring an annual boost of €74 million to Pamplona businesses, according to an association of fighting bull breeders.

PETA’s offer is the latest in a long campaign to ban what it calls “Pamplona’s annual bloodbath”.

Together with Spanish groupAnimaNaturalis, the activists stage peaceful protests ahead of the start of the festival year.

The city’s former mayor, Joseba Asirón, supported the protests, describing them as “fair and honest”.

Speaking to reporters about the groups’ calls to remove bull runs from the festival, he said, “[T]his is a debate that sooner or later we will have to put on the table. For a very simple reason, and that is that basing the festival on the suffering of a living being, in the 21st century, is something that, at best, we have to rethink.”

Since the pandemic began festivals across Spain have been cancelled but corridas were allowed last summer with limited occupancy and with social distancing and Covid-19 measures in place.

But although Spain’s bullfighting lobby is strong, there is a general trend away from it.

In a poll published in 2019 by online newspaper El Español, over 56 percent of Spaniards said they were against bullfighting, while only 24.7 were in favour. Some 18.9 percent said they were indifferent.

Support was significantly higher among conservative voters, it showed.