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September 15, 2015

Gruesome Cruelty at Spain’s Toro de la Vega Bull Fiesta Condemned

  • Rompesuelas (breaking soles) the bull is brutally killed during the 2015 Toro de la Vega. ProVegan/PACMA

Humane Society International/UK has condemned today’s torment and killing of a bull named Rompesuelas (breaking soles) at the Toro de la Vega fiesta in Tordesillas, Spain as “gratuitous animal cruelty”. Today’s killing took place despite polling data revealing that the majority of Spanish people oppose the brutal fiesta.
Rompesuelas was chased out of town to a nearby meadow by men on horseback wielding spears, and tormented and goaded by the gathering crowds for a full 20 minutes. The terrified animal was finally stabbed to death, killed with a spike driven through his neck.
Almost three quarters of Spanish citizens aged 16-65yrs (74 per cent) oppose the Toro de la Vega bull fiesta, an Ipsos MORI online opinion poll commissioned by Humane Society International shows.

Claire Bass, HSI/UK executive director, said: “In common with the vast majority of Spanish citizens, we are sickened by the gratuitous animal cruelty that took place at today’s Toro de la Vega fiesta. Rompesuelas the bull endured a terrifying and protracted ordeal, for the entertainment of the crowd, before being killed. It’s time for Spanish politicians to wake up to 21st century ethical values and end this archaic and perverse form of ‘entertainment’.”

Tell Spanish politicians to ban bull fiestas.

After Rompesuelas was killed, the result of the competition to kill him was declared void as officials questioned whether three of the rules, governing where the bull can be killed and how many people can deliver the final blow, were broken. The City Council has said it is contemplating administrative sanctions.

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.

A demonstration in central Madrid on Saturday organised by Spanish group PACMA, saw many tens of thousands of compassionate Spanish citizens march to register their strong opposition to this cruel event.
The polling showed:

  • 74 per cent oppose the Toro de la Vega bull fiesta taking place, of those 60 per cent strongly oppose it
  • Only 8 per cent support the Toro de la Vega bull fiesta
  • 71 per cent believe that public funds should not be used to support bull fiestas
  • Only 13 per cent believe public funding should be used to support bull fiestas.

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.

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

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