Town defends bull killing ritual despite protests

13th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2007, MADRID - The Spanish town of Tordesillas maintains the tradition of slowly killing a bull during local festivities despite protests by animal rights campaigners, media reported Wednesday.

13 September 2007

MADRID - The Spanish town of Tordesillas maintains the tradition of slowly killing a bull during local festivities despite protests by animal rights campaigners, media reported Wednesday.

The annual tradition known as the "toro de la Vega" (bull of Vega), which dates from the Middle Ages, was performed again Tuesday in the town about 200 kilometres north-west of Madrid.

The bull was driven through the town to a field where dozens of men, some on horseback and others on foot, attacked it with lances.

The animal took nearly an hour to die, according to the daily El Pais. The men prevented media from filming the bull's agony.

About 600 animal rights campaigners from several European countries had demonstrated in Tordesillas a few days earlier.

"This kind of spectacles have existed all over Europe, but to our shame, they persist only in Spain," campaigner Concepcion Reyero said.

Local officials, however, approve of the spectacle, which was witnessed by 35,000 people on Tuesday, four times as many as Tordesillas has residents.

The tradition has only been toned down in that the bull is no longer castrated during the spectacle.

Some traditions opposed by animal rights campaigners have been abolished in Spain.

In Albala in the south-west, riders no longer tear off the heads of living roosters. In Manganeses de la Polvorosa in the north-west, a firework rocket is now hurled down from the church tower instead of a live goat.

Animal rights campaigners link the persistence of such traditions with Spain's bullfighting tradition, which they see as a form of torture. dpa st sc

[Copyright DPA with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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