On 5th July 2024, animal rights activists from PETA and AnimaNaturalis gathered in the Plaza Consistorial in Pamplona, Navarra, Spain, to protest against bullfighting that has been part of the San Fermín festivities that include the infamous running of the bulls. For years, these organisations have been staging publicity stunt protests with naked or semi-naked activists a few days before the festival starts. 

This year, the stunt took the form of lightly-dressed “bloodied” activists wearing bull horns and trapped in medieval torture devices, which symbolised the suffering of the 60 bulls who, after running for their lives in the streets of the Navarran capital, will be stabbed and slaughtered in front of jeering crowds.

In a press release, PETA said, “Every year, bulls are forced to scramble down Pamplona’s narrow streets as they run from a jeering mob. They often injure themselves as they slip on the cobbled ground or crash into walls while attempting to escape the crowd. These bulls have typically had little interaction with humans previously, and suddenly being thrust among a horde is distressing and overwhelming. Many people who attend this cruel spectacle don’t realize that the same bulls they run from down the streets are tortured to death in the bullring later the same day.”

Although bullfighting has been in decline all over the world, and in the last few years even banned in some countries such as Catalonia in 2010, and this year in Colombia, it has not declined in Pamplona as it survives thanks to the thousands of foreign tourists that visit the city during the festivities. These tourists are giving the city enough funds to keep this horrible tradition going, even if many of them do not directly participate in the running of the bulls realising that not only it’s cruel for the animals but dangerous for the people.

Help SAVE THE BULLS of the barbaric Pamplona Bull Run: https://www.change.org/p/save-the-bulls-of-the-barbaric-pamplona-bull-run

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.