CAS International, PACMA, and Humane Society International have collected 71,000 signatures against the traditional feast of Toro de la Vega.
On June 19, this petition was presented to Pablo Trillo-Figueroa, Deputy of the Governing Council of Valladolid, Spain.
During the annual Toro de le Vega, in the province of Castilla y León, a bull is chased by a crowd of people on foot and on horseback. Meanwhile, the animal is repeatedly stabbed with spears till death follows. The tradition of Toro de la Vega is very controversial in Spain due to the extreme suffering that the bull must undergo. Many Spaniards believe that the event should be banned. Many lovers of bullfighting even openly speak out against this tradition. Toro de la Vega has been declared as an event of “national tourist interest” since 1980 and was in 2011 recognized by the Council of Valladolid as ‘cultural heritage.’
CAS International, started together with the Spanish political party PACMA and HSI, launched the campaign ‘Rompe una Lanza’ (break a lance) with the purpose of widely drawing attention to this subject and to gather signatures against this cruel tradition. “Break a lance” symbolizes the lances used against the bull.
Toro de la Vega © PACMA
“Toro de la Vega is not only a despicable event in itself, but also a bad thing for Spain, which lives on tourism,” said Silvia Barquero, spokesman of the Spanish party for the animals. “The image that we show the rest of the world is regrettable, and it is incomprehensible that this event is still allowed.” Marius Kolff, director of CAS, says that “CAS International since seven years annually visits Tordesillas with Dutch and Belgian volunteers to protest against this cruel tradition.”
About 500 animal rights activists protested in central Spain on Sunday against a centuries-old festival in which a bull is chased and then lanced to death.
For the demonstration the protesters arrived in the fortified town of Tordesillas, which will stage the festival on Tuesday, from across Spain on 10 buses rented by animal rights group PACMA which organised the event.
Wearing white T-shirts with the slogan “Break a Spear”, they gathered in the plain near the town where a bull is killed each year and held up wooden sticks representing spears above their heads before snapping them in two.
Each year hundreds of people, many on horseback, chase a bull through the streets of Tordesillas and across a bridge to the plain where they then spear it to death.
The ritual has been held every second Tuesday in September since at least 1453.
“It is the cruelest tradition incurred upon an animal in our country,” PACMA group said in a statement posted on its website ahead of Sunday’s protest.
Each region of Spain has responsibility for its own animal protection laws, usually with exceptions for bullfighting. The festival in Tordesillas is allowed under the laws of the Castilla y Leon region.
PACMA describes itself as the Animalist Party on its website and says it is the only political party that campaigns for the rights of all animals.
While it has run candidates in elections to both chambers of parliament, it has yet to have any deputies or senators elected.