• Share to Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Email
    • Print

November 24, 2010

Fire Bull Fiesta

Humane Society International/Europe

  • The bull, fire blazing above its horns, runs through the square. HSI/PACMA

  •  The fiesta attracts many spectators. HSI/PACMA

  • The flaming torches are fastened to the bull's horns. HSI/PACMA

  • The bull looks towards a bonfire as the flames lick the air. HSI/PACMA

  • Flammable liquid drops from the flaming torches. HSI/PACMA

  • Fire all around. HSI/PACMA

  • Firecrackers explode above the square. HSI/PACMA

  • Flames almost out. HSI/PACMA

Many thousands of animals are tormented and killed at local fiestas held across Spain every year. At fire bull fiestas, bulls have flaming torches attached to their horns and are goaded as they attempt to escape the flames licking above their heads. Watch a video of such an event.

The bulls used in fiestas are frequently supplied by the same farmers who breed bulls for bullfighting, providing more income for supporters of the bullfighting industry.

El Toro Jubilo

Every November in the village of Medinaceli in the Castilla y León region of northern Spain, El Toro Jubilo, or the Jubilation Bull, festival takes place.

Late in the evening, a bull is roped to a post in the town square whilst flaming torches are attached to its horns.

Unshackled once the torches above its head are ablaze, the bull dashes about the square trying to avoid roaring bonfires, as spectators rush in, trying to goad it. The animal tosses its head again and again, as it turns in one direction then the next, trying desperately to escape the fire burning above its head. As the fire burns, drops of the flammable liquid fall on to the head and body of the animal and loud firecrackers explode above the square. These events can last for up to 40 minutes.

El Toro Jubilo is not the only fire bull event held across Spain. There is much support locally for an end to these brutal spectacles. According to Spanish group PACMA, 84 percent of people who took part in a recent poll rejected similar events, known as correbous, in Catalonia.