• Animal-rights NGO says dozens of bulls to be killed during San Fermín in July
• Festival famed for ‘running of bulls’ brings 1 million tourists to city each year
As animal rights activists in Spain gear up to again protest the running and killing of bulls during Pamplona’s annual San Fermín festival, one group has gone global with a petition in English as well as Spanish calling for a halt to the killing of dozens of bulls during the nine-day festival, which this year runs from the 2nd through the 9th of July.
AnimaNaturalis, an international non-governmental organisation based in Spain that works to promote and protect animal rights across Spain and throughout Latin America, says that dozens of bulls are brutally massacred in public bullfights on each day of the nine-day festival and die agonizing deaths in the bullring, while the paying public applaud.
The animal rights NGO says that despite the fact that 81 percent of Spaniards have shown themselves in opinion polls to be against bullfights, the governments of Spain and the EU subsidize bullfights in Spain with public funds totaling about 650 million euros. In addition to the public bullfights during San Fermín, the NGO says that private bullfights are also organized and underwritten by tour companies that offer them as part of their tourist packages.
The festival of San Fermin is Spain’s largest festival event, bringing more than 1 million people from around the world to the northwestern city of Pamplona each year, and is best known for the “running of the bulls” at the launch of the nine-day fiesta, made famous by American writer Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises (known as Fiesta in the British edition).
Each year, AnimaNaturalis and other animal-rights groups gather in Pamplona to protest the bull-running and bullfighting that takes place during the festival.