City of Valencia to ban ‘bou embolat’ bull-taunting

Valencia municipal council is set to ban 'bou embolat' festivals within city limits. Photo: Las Provincias
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• Spain’s second-largest city moves to ‘reduce stress’ of bulls in local festivals
• Officials say they’ll continue to monitor bullfighting for regulatory compliance

The municipal council of Spain’s third-largest city is expected to hear and approve Friday a resolution banning the controversial bou embolat and bou en corda events featured in festivals in the city and surrounding suburbs, according to an announcement made by Valencia mayor Joan Ribó and the municipalities council for animal welfare, Glòria Tello.

Noting that Valencia had already banned the use of wild animals in circuses, the city officials said the ban on the specific bull-baiting practices is part of a concerted effort on the part of the new municipal council to make Valencia into a city that “respects animals” and reduces the stress caused to the animals during popular festivals. The officials said Valencia will continue to permit bullfighting, however, but will work to ensure all bullfights are staged within the current legal and regulatory framework nationwide.

In the bou embolat event that is part of local festivals in many parts of the Valencia region, fires are lit at the tip of a bull’s horns as it is taunted by local crowds and run through the cobbled streets of towns and villages at nighttime. Similarly, bulls secured with lariats tied to their horns in bou en corda events are taunted and prodded by onlookers as they are paraded through the streets.

► Read More in Spanish at Las Provincias and Levante-EMV …

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