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September 12, 2016

Toro de la Peña, not a humane substitute for cruel Toro de la Vega

HSI/Europe calls for Toro de la Peña bull run to be cancelled

Humane Society International/Europe

  • The 2011 Toro de la Vega event. PACMA/HSI/CAS International

Only a few months after the Castilla y Léon government banned the public killing of bulls used in fiestas, the City Council of Tordesillas announced that a bull run will replace the Toro de la Vega bull spearing festival to comply with the ban.

Christened the ‘Toro de la Peña’, it is expected to take place on 13th September 2016. A bull named Perlado will be forced to run down the streets of Tordesillas to a meadow while being surrounded by men on horses. The animal will thus still endure great distress for public entertainment. In the original Toro de la Vega, a bull would be chased and cornered by men on horseback, who would then spear him to death.

As an Ipsos MORI online opinion poll commissioned by Humane Society International in 2014 reveals, almost three quarters of Spanish citizens aged 16-65 (74 per cent) opposed the Toro de la Vega bull fiesta.

Humane Society International/Europe Executive Director Joanna Swabe said:

"While we commend the Castilla y León government for prohibiting the barbaric public killing of bulls, we call on the mayor of Tordesillas to cancel this cruel bull run. We are deeply concerned that there may still be attempts to injure or kill Perlado the Bull during this event. Any attempts to do so would be in clear violation of animal protection provisions and would seriously compromise public order."


  • In June 2016, the Regional Assembly of Castilla y León approved a decree that prohibits the public killing of bulls used in fiestas, including the cruel Toro de la Vega fiesta.
  • The Toro de la Vega fiesta took place in Tordesillas, in the Castilla y León region of Spain, each September.
  • During the event, spear-wielding men on horseback chase a bull out of the town and into the surrounding countryside.  Pursued and stuck with spears until he is cornered, the bull is then stabbed to death.
  • For many years, HSI has worked with PACMA in Spain and CAS International to bring an end to cruel bull fiestas, such as the Toro de la Vega, through the ‘Break a Spear’ initiative.

Media contact: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org, +44 (0)7989 972 423

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