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September 10, 2015

Spanish Citizens Oppose the Toro de la Vega and Public Funding of Bull Fiestas

Humane Society International/Europe calls on Spanish politicians to outlaw these cruel events

Humane Society International/Europe

  • The 2013 Toro de la Vega. PACMA

Almost three quarters, 74 per cent, of Spanish citizens aged 16-65 oppose the Toro de la Vega bull fiesta, an Ipsos MORI online opinion poll commissioned by Humane Society International shows.

The barbaric event, which is scheduled to take place in the Spanish town of Tordesillas on 15th September 2015, will see a bull chased out of the town to a surrounding meadow where he will be taunted and goaded by groups of men on foot and horseback wielding long spears. The bull will eventually be stabbed to death and his killer rewarded for his deed.

Dr. Joanna Swabe, HSI/Europe executive director said: “The Toro de la Vega is a cruel spectacle that causes stress and suffering to a bull for nothing more than entertainment. This poll shows the strength of feeling held by Spanish citizens who oppose this fiesta, and the level of opposition to the use of public funds to support bull fiestas. We call on Spanish politicians to listen to the views of their citizens and put an immediate halt to all fiestas that involve animal cruelty.”

Tell politicians: Ban Cruel Bull Fiestas.

The Toro de la Vega is one brutal example of the thousands of fiestas taking place in Spain every year which see suffering and distress inflicted on bulls. Many of these fiestas are partly or wholly funded by public subsidies, but as this poll clearly shows, seven in 10 (71 per cent) of Spanish citizens do not think public funds should be used to support bull fiestas.

HSI/Europe applauds Spanish politicians who have questioned these cruel events and the funding that is directed to them and urges all Spanish politicians to introduce and enforce animal welfare legislation that would outlaw the Toro de la Vega fiesta and all other similar events where the welfare of animals is compromised.

HSI supports the “Break a Spear” campaign launched in September 2011 and will be participating in their event in central Madrid on Saturday alongside Spanish campaigners and citizens to continue opposing this and other fiestas that involve cruelty to animals.

The polling showed:

  • 74 per cent oppose the Toro de la Vega bull fiesta taking place; only eight per cent support it. 60 per cent strongly oppose it.
  • Seven in 10 polled (71 per cent) agree that public funds should not be used to support bull fiestas, while only 13 per cent believe public funding should be used.

On behalf of Humane Society International, Ipsos MORI carried out an online survey among a quota sample of 1,004 adults (aged 16 – 65) across Spain. Data were weighted to the known offline population profile.  Interviews were carried out between 26 and 30 September 2014. Prior to answering the questions respondents were provided with the following background information:

As you may know, an annual bull fiesta recently took place in Tordesillas, Spain. The festival has been taking place for around 500 years. Called the Toro de la Vega, the fiesta includes a bull being chased and killed by men with spears on horseback and on foot. This year the chase lasted around 30 minutes.

Media Contact:
Raúl Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, +1 240.620.3263 

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