Pamplona’s controversial ‘Running of the Bulls’ event has been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, part of the annual San Fermín festivities, sees bulls running the streets among hordes of humans before they are killed in bullfights.
Animal advocates have welcomed the news that the event has been canceled, with vegan charity PETA branding the Running of the Bulls and bullfights ‘a vestige of a far less enlightened time when people didn’t understand that animals feel pain and thought nothing of risking fellow humans’ safety’.
The cancelation was confirmed in a council statement, which said: “The Pamplona City Council has officially announced this afternoon that it is suspending the celebration of the San Fermín festivities in July 2020.”
Acting mayor, Ana Elizalde (who is replacing mayor Enrique Maya as he recovers from COVID-19), said: “No matter how much expected it was, it does not stop us all feeling sad…it seems evident, and I think that it is the feeling of public opinion, that our beloved parties are very close to the coronavirus.”
Now PETA has written to mayor Enrique Maya offering the city €250,000 ‘if, in return, it commits to ending the Running of the Bulls and the subsequent bullfights altogether’.
The letter, penned by PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk, said: “Today, the vast majority of people around the world are opposed to what goes on at the Running of the Bulls and detest bullfights. More than 125 Spanish towns and cities have recognized that tormenting and butchering bulls for entertainment has no place in the 21st century and have rejected such barbarity.
“With the bullfighting industry in serious financial trouble and opposition to exploiting animals for entertainment ever-growing, I hope you’ll agree that it’s time – past time – to add Pamplona to that list.”
The city has not publicly responded to the offer at the time of writing.