Dori Edwards, Global Animal
In the name of tradition, Spaniards gather every November at the “Toro Jubilo” festival to watch as an innocent bull is burned alive for their entertainment. For the past three years, the Partido Animalista Contra el Maltrato Animal, which translates to the Animalist Party Against Animal Abuse, has personally given the Medinacelli government in Soria, Spain a signed petition against the horrifying event.
To set the bull aflame, a mass of flammable turpentine is attached to each of the bulls horns and then lit on fire. The flames burn the animal’s head, eyes, horns and body. Spectators surround the bull and cheer while he thrashes against walls or dives into the ocean in attempt to extinguish the agony. This torturous exploitation often last hours before the fire fizzles.
After the Catalonia region of Spain banned bullfighting last year, many questioned why the burning bull festival was not outlawed as well. MSNBC interviewee Francesc Sancho from Catalonia’s dominant political party stated they do not believe the festival to be cruel since the bull is not killed and is given medical attention after the event. “If the horns are wide enough, they won’t get burnt,” he said.
Although Sancho ensures the bulls are not killed during or after the festival, blog sources such as Squidoo and OddityCentral claim that the bulls are later dismembered and its parts divided amongst the festival attendees. Even if the bulls are not killed and veterinary care is provided, the practice is an abusive form of sadistic entertainment. Wide horns or not, dead or alive, the bulls are physically and emotionally tormented and the festival needs to be stopped.
According to Spanish news source Typically Spanish, over 4,000 people attended last year’s festival and its fervent support led Medinacelli town hall to apply to UNESCO for the protection of the festival against dissenters such as PACMA. These animal activists, however, are not dissuaded from their mission and will once again present the government with a popularly supported petition this October. Before November, we urge you to take a moment and sign the petition. The bulls need your help.