PAMPLONA – The annual festivals of Pamplona (Navarra) are starting again. These are internationally famous for their bull runs. Partly because every year, people are injured or even killed. However, animal organisations mainly look at the suffering of the bulls.
The ‘encierro’, as the running of the bulls, is called, means that large groups (mainly young men), chased by roaring bulls, run through the narrow streets of central Pamplona. The endpoint is the bullring, where the bulls are finally stabbed to death in front of a howling crowd.
Yesterday (Tuesday), however, completely different creatures ran through the streets of the city centre. Supporters of PETA and AnimaNaturalis dressed as dinosaurs followed the route of the ‘encierro’ in a playful action. They point out that the running of the bulls is an extremely cruel form of public entertainment. The group asks that the feast, in which 42 bulls are killed each (normal) year, be reinvented with playful and nonviolent activities.
“Bull runs and bullfights represent a less enlightened time when people did not understand that animals also feel pain and fear,” said PETA Vice President Mimi Bekhechi. “These cruel and archaic events should follow the way of the dinosaurs”. Therefore, PETA is asking the mayor of Pamplona to take action and put this massacre in the history books, where it belongs.
More than 125 Spanish cities have already rejected the torment and killing of bulls as entertainment, according to PETA. Since 2019, bullfighting has already decreased by 42%. But at festivals like San Fermin, the bulls are still subject to confusion and terror, and the risk of injury before they are slaughtered is high. They bump into barriers or walls, fall, and can break their legs.
In 2021, PETA offered the mayor of Pamplona $298,000 to cancel the annual bullfight, an offer that still stands.
PETA, whose slogan reads in part that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” opposes speciesism, a supremacist worldview.
San Fermin 2022
The annual festivals of Pamplona are held from July 6 to 14. Furthermore, it is the first year since the pandemic that the parties are celebrated in a normal way. In addition to the running of the bulls, which takes place early in the morning every day from July 7, many other events have been organised, such as music concerts and other performances.
Also read: Fiestas and ferias in Spain 2022