IZAMAL—For the fourth consecutive year, the cruelty-free Fiesta de San Bartolo replaced Kots Kaal Pato, the brutal Yucatan ritual of stringing up animals inside piñatas and beating them to death or cutting off their heads. Humane Society International/Mexico has been working on the ground with local partners for several years now to help the community embrace a cultural change in favor of the humane treatment of animals. Through humane education and by offering alternative activities, animals are no longer victims of cruelty in the name of “entertainment.”
Felipe Marquez, HSI/Mexico animal protection expert, said: “Cruel festivities in which different kinds of animals are abused take place on a regular basis across Mexico. Ensuring the humane transformation of the Izamal fiesta is vital to proving that traditions can evolve as societies’ values become more considerate and compassionate.”
Replacing what used to be one of the cruelest festivals in Mexico, Fiesta de San Bartolo has become a family celebration, promoting sports and games such as “Carreras Argentinas,” in which young people ride bikes while trying to get prizes hanging from a wire in the main plaza.
By continuing to work with the people and authorities of the community Citilcum in Izamal, HSI/Mexico hopes that this annual event will remain cruelty-free into the future.
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