At the end of July 2022, three men died in 24 hours from wounds suffered during bull-running festivals in the Valencia region of eastern Spain. They had all taken part in the barbaric tradition called “bous al carrer” where bulls are forced to charge through towns, often with people running ahead of them.
In one of the incidents, in Picassent, south of the city of Valencia, a 56-year-old man was tossed in the air by a bull and suffered a traumatic brain injury, dying in a hospital in Valencia nine days after the event. In another bull running event in Meliana, north of Valencia, a 50-year-old man also died in hospital after his lung was pierced by a bull. A 64-year-old Frenchman died from wounds he suffered in Pedreguer, on the coast. In these sorts of events, both people and the bulls are victims of violence, often lethal, which is another reason animal rights groups have long campaigned to abolish them. In the past eight years at least 20 people have died in the Valencia region in these types of events.
Unfortunately, goring incidents have become a regular feature of bull-running in recent years. This year, the infamous San Fermin running of the bulls in Pamplona, in the North of the Iberian Peninsula, caused 35 injuries to people and the death of all the bullfighting bulls involved (many people don’t know that, after the run, all the bullfighting bulls are killed with swards in long and agonizing deaths. The run ends in a bullring where, one by one, the bulls will be killed in this manner by bullfighters).
PACMA, the Spanish political party for the animals, has repeatedly called for the abolition of bull festivals, criticising the organisers of festivals all over Spain for endangering the lives of residents and inflicting abuse on animals.