Bull festival in Spain There were a number of deaths and injuries at Valencia's Bous al Carrer - Media Credit: Endos / Alamy Stock Photo

7 Dead And 300 Injured At Bull Festivals In Spain

Officials from the Spanish region of Valencia have urged the public to have “respect for the bulls”


3 Minutes Read

Seven people have died and around 300 more were injured at controversial bull festivals in Spain this summer. 

Bous al Carrer (“bulls on the street”) takes place each year in the eastern region of Valencia. It is a centuries-old tradition that sees people run alongside the animals.

José María Ángel, Valencia’s secretary for safety and emergencies, urged attendees of the festivals not to “lose respect” for the bulls.

They added: “The bulls kill and these festivals carry a high risk.”

On August 29, the Bous al Carrer advisory committee held an emergency meeting to “review the current situation of the festivities and to listen to those involved in order to come up with preventive campaigns and more training for clubs and organizers.”

Anyone wishing to “run with the bulls” must be over the age of 16. They must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Ángel added that such events “bring with them an individual and collective risk, and so participation requires maturity.”

Deaths and injuries at bull-running festivals are far from an anomaly. Also this summer, a further three people died at similar events in Madrid, Castilla y Leon, and Navarra. 

According to CBS, more than 30 people have been killed at the festivals since 2015. 

Animal welfare concerns

Unsurprisingly, these events come with a huge animal welfare cost. The League Against Cruel Sports told Plant Based News (PBN) that bull running involves “layers of animal cruelty.”

“They’re forced to flee in fear and confusion down tight alleys on slippery cobbles, chased and harassed by baying crowds all the way,” said Nick Weston, head of campaigns.

What’s more, after the festivals take place, bulls will generally end up in the bullfighting ring. There, they will be killed in front of thousands of paying spectators.

PETA’s Vice President of Programmes Elisa Allen told PBN: “Seven dead humans and umpteen more bulls who were stabbed to death in the ring after the ‘run’ can be added to the long list of compelling reasons why bullfighting must be banned in Valencia and throughout the rest of Spain.” 

“Before these “fights”, the bulls are stampeded and charge forward in a panicked frenzy while humans who are desperate to show they are risk-takers join them in extremely dangerous runs,” she continued. “Enough is enough when it comes to barbaric events rooted in the distant past, when we didn’t understand anything about other sentient beings’ interests, fear, and pain.”

Campaigns to end running with the bulls

The Spanish animal rights party Pacma has maintained that a total ban would end the suffering of these animals. 

“Any measure taken that isn’t the prohibition of all bull festivals will be useless,” a statement from the group reads. “These events are based on extreme cruelty and violence. As such, they are an authentic torture for animals and a huge danger to all people. This is about archaic traditions that foment violence and poison society.”

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The Author

Polly Foreman

Polly is the Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. She has been vegan since 2014, and has written extensively on veganism, animal rights, and the environment.

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14 days ago

This is an ancient, barbaric and inhumane way to treat any living being. Anyone who supports such activities should question themselves.

Karen Ryan
Karen Ryan
14 days ago
Reply to  Melanie

I couldn’t agree more with you !!!! ENOUGH ALREADY !!

14 days ago

“Crowds panic when a rodeo bull, whom they were harming and tormenting for entertainment in Florida, tried to escape. It’s astounding how quickly attitudes of human superiority deflate to fear when our victim turns on us. Animals are not here for us to use. End speciesism now.” ABC News item.

“Our humanity” is a hopeless cause, which even a dogmatic fool like the Pope fails to understand. The teachings of Jesus and Buddha cannot supplant the jury-rigged DNA-driven ideological wiring of our brains nor supplant our evolutionary history of full-spectrum dominance over creation, reinforced by our warped cultural heritage. I could be right, but don’t quote me!  

14 days ago

This is totally a disgusting practice. I am amazed that this is still allowed in Europe! It makes me never want to visit Spain where this kind of thing is still considered entertainment. Very backwards tradition. The amount of suffering involved I can’t even fathom.

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