Powerful new photos taken by activists from the Spanish group Tras los Muros tell the distressing story of what happens to bulls at the annual San Fermín festival in Pamplona, Spain, each July. The drunken revellers who chase animals through the city’s streets in the morning may not understand how the festival ends for those same animals.
These photographs bring the full horror to light.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Before the fight, horses are blindfolded to prevent them from running from the bullring in terror. They’re often injured during the course of the violence.
A picador on horseback plunges a metal lance into a bull’s back. These armed men will twist and gouge the lances into the animal’s flesh to impair his ability to move.
A matador is about to plunge a knife into a bull, who is already exhausted, injured and bleeding.
Encouraged by the crowd, the matador prepares to strike the animal again.
A man lifts up a 2-year-old to watch the carnage – despite a recent ruling from the UN that exposure to the violence of bullfights goes against the rights of children.
The spectacle is over – but the bull’s suffering is not.
Still alive, he lies on the ground, bleeding profusely.
He’s dragged across the floor by his feet, leaving a trail of blood.
A crowd – including several children – looks on as the bull is hauled up by his foot.
Then his throat will be cut, and he will be left to bleed to death.
That’s the end for this animal – and thousands of others will be killed in the same slow, terrifying and painful way in the name of a “tradition” that most Spanish people don’t want to preserve.
As attendance dwindles at bullfights across Spain, subsidies and tourism pay for much of this bloodshed. But if travel companies put these pictures in their brochures, many more tourists would steer clear of the Running of the Bulls.
We’ve already helped persuade Thomas Cook, Brittany Ferries and STA Travel to stop advertising trips to the San Fermín festival. If you see any other travel companies promoting torture as a “fun” holiday, share these shocking images with them and ask them to stop (and please let us know about it as well).
Photos © Tras Los Muros