Children witness disturbing bull suffering at Spanish event

by Lorraine Williamson
bull suffering

sBARBASTRO – The town of Barbastro in Huesca is the scene of a large-scale investigation by the Spanish Public Prosecutor into animal abuse during a bull event last Wednesday. Moreover, there were also children present who witnessed the suffering. 

The Public Prosecution Service opened the case after a recent bull-raising event in which aggressive bulls charged at young calves. Children were also present and witnessed a bull suffering at this quite shocking spectacle. They could watch as a few roaring bulls picked up young calves on their horns or pounded into these frightened animals. This was sometimes accompanied by such violence that the young animals flew through the air. 

Shocking videos showing bull suffering provide grounds for investigation 

The coordinator of the Department of the Environment, Antonio Vercher, has ordered the Guardia Civil to conduct an in-depth investigation. A series of videos made by the animal rights party Pacma were the reason for this. Following these images, the organisers will now be questioned. Furthermore, the authenticity of these images is being checked. 

Also read: Bullfighting is in decline despite support from far-right governments 

According to an agreement between the ruling parties PP and Vox in Aragon, access for children is allowed at these types of events. 

Animal rights activists are furious 

Following angry reactions from animal rights activists, Barbastro Mayor Fernando Torres said the action was “a complex task”. He said all the bulls had been checked by vets after the event and were in “perfect condition”. However, his statements are not well received everywhere. Animal rights organisations argue that this incident shows how loosely animal welfare is being treated. 

More criminal cases 

According to the Public Prosecution Service’s 2022 Annual Report, the number of investigations and convictions for animal cruelty is increasing. With 270 ongoing investigations compared to 256 last year, and 1,300 trials, 307 of which resulted in convictions, there is clearly a worrying trend. 

Heavy punishments 

The relatively new Spanish legislation on animal welfare is clear: anyone who abuses an animal can be sentenced to between 3 and 18 months in prison. If the animal dies, this can even extend to 24 months, in addition to a fine and a ban on keeping animals for one to three years. 

Also read: Sweeping investigation exposes hidden cruelty behind Spain’s bull festivals 

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