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September 13, 2011

“Break a Spear” Campaign to Support Bulls Launches

Humane Society International

  • The end of a bull fiesta. PACMA/CAS International

Three animal protection groups—Partido Animalista-PACMA, Humane Society International and CAS International—have joined to launch the “Break a Spear” campaign to call for an end to the cruelty of the annual Toro de le Vega fiesta in Tordesillas, in the Castilla y León region of Spain. Watch a video of the event.

The expression to “break a spear” dates back to medieval times, when knights would engage in contests defend the honor of someone. The “Break a Spear” campaign defends the honor of the bulls killed during the annual event by urging the Territorial Delegate of the Junta de Castilla y Leon in Valladolid to end this cruel practice.

During the fiesta, people on foot and horseback wielding spears chase a bull into the countryside, where he is pursued and stuck with spears before being stabbed to death.

“We have launched the ‘Break a Spear’ campaign to raise awareness of this terrible event, where bulls are hunted down and stabbed to death,” said Silvia Barquero, spokesperson for PACMA. “To ’break a spear’ means to honor the bull, and we want to honor the bulls by bringing this cruelty to an end. We are asking everyone to join us in honoring the bulls by signing our petition.”

Earlier this year, the Tordesillas Council voted that the Toro de la Vega fiesta be declared an event of “cultural heritage.”

“Animal cruelty is not entertainment, and any event that allows an animal to be tormented, taunted and killed by men wielding spears can never be justified as a cultural privilege,” added Kitty Block, vice president of HSI.

Members of Partido Animalista-PACMA and CAS International will gather at Plaza del Callao in the centre of Madrid where they will break wooden sticks as a symbolic reminder of the bulls that have been slain during the festival.

The petition can be found in Spanish at rompeunalanza.com and in English on HSI’s website.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations—backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—On the Web at hsi.org.

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