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Pamplona bull run 2012: 22 injured people and 42 dead bulls

The international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS is demanding an immediate break with this cruel tradition, in which many people get hurt and many bulls suffer a painful death every year. „This is a particularly serious form of cruelty to animals and would be punishable with imprisonment in countries such as Austria, Germany and Switzerland“, stresses Gabriel Paun, director of Campaigns at FOUR PAWS. „This kind of entertainment has nothing to do with culture and should be abolished.“


According to tradition, the Pamplona bull run takes place during the San Fermin festival at 8 a.m. every morning from 7th to 14th July. Six fighting bulls and a few bullocks are driven for a distance of 825 metres to the bullfighting arena in order to entertain the crowds. Thousands of Spaniards and tourists in search of a rush, run with the bulls through the narrow streets. According to historians, the tradition dates back to the early 14th century. While transporting cattle in order to sell at the market, men would attempt to speed the process by hurrying their cattle using tactics of fear and excitement. After years of this practice, the transportation and hurrying began to turn into a competition, as young adults would attempt to race in front of the bulls and make it safely to their pens without being overtaken.


In the afternoons, the same animals driven in the morning through Pamplona, are forced to fight in the bullfighting arena. Before the beginning of the event so called „picadores“ on horses torment the bulls. They ram spears into their backs, slit their necks and panic them by giving electric shocks and beatings with sticks. Badly hurt, they are driven into the bullfighting arena, in order to be tortured slowly to death by the torero to great applause from the audience.


With about 13 000 bulls killed each year at bullfighting events, Spain has gained a bad reputation. However, according to an opinion poll conducted in Spanish online media, 80 percent of people want a ban on this torture. Bullfighting is already banned in two of the autonomous regions of Spain - Catalonia and the Canary Islands.