More than 33,000 People Sign HSI Petition to End Torment of ‘Fire Bulls’

Humane Society International

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

  • Fire all around. HSI/PACMA

VALLADOLID, Spain (23 March 2011)—Partido Animalista PACMA has delivered a message to the Interior & Justice Ministry Wednesday signed by people from Spain and from many other countries calling for an end to the use of live animals in fire bull fiestas.
A grand total of more than 38,000 signatures were collected by PACMA and Humane Society International after last November’s annual fiesta in Medinaceli, where a bull had flaming torches attached to his horns in the town square.

The fiesta was filmed and caused great concern and shock when it was shown to the groups’ supporters worldwide. At fire bull fiestas, a bull is also goaded by bystanders as he attempts to escape the flames licking above his head. The bull tosses his head again and again trying to escape the burning flames. As the fire burns, drops of the flammable liquid fall on to the head and body of the bull and loud firecrackers explode nearby. These events can last as long as 40 minutes.
The letter was delivered to Alfonso Fernández Mañueco at the Interior & Justice Ministry which has the power to stop this abuse in Castilla y León. The letter calls not for an end to the fiestas, but for an end to the use of animals in such events.
“Fiestas that involve the mistreatment of animals create an atmosphere that desensitises people, especially impressionable young adults, to animal suffering,” said Kitty Block, vice president of HSI. “Animal torment is never acceptable as a form of entertainment and Humane Society International, along with all these citizens, asks the minister to bring an end to the use of animals in these fiestas.”

Silvia Barquero, spokesperson for Partido Animalista PACMA, said, “Our supporters were shocked by the images they saw of the bull with the flaming torches attached to his horns. They were also upset that people could watch an animal being treated like this. We are calling for an end to the tormenting of bulls for amusement and spectacle.”

Watch a video of the fiesta here. For downloadable b-roll, please contact our media department.


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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