PHOTOS: Spanish Activists Uncover the Bloody Truth About San Fermín 'Festivities'
  • 23
  • Jul

PHOTOS: Spanish Activists Uncover the Bloody Truth About San Fermín ‘Festivities’

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.


Horse blindfolded

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.

Lance in bull's back

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.

Matador stabs bull

A matador is about to plunge a knife into a bull, who is already exhausted, injured and bleeding.

Matador prepares to mutilate animal

Encouraged by the crowd, the matador prepares to strike the animal again.

Child forced to watch bullfight

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.

Injured bull

The spectacle is over – but the bull’s suffering is not.

Bull in pool of his own blood after fight

Still alive, he lies on the ground, bleeding profusely.

Injured bull dragged across floor

He’s dragged across the floor by his feet, leaving a trail of blood.

Crowd watch bull being strung up by his leg

A crowd – including several children – looks on as the bull is hauled up by his foot.

Bull bleeds to death after bullfight

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

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  1. avatar Henny Vlaar says:

    Please stop the suffering! Respect animals and don’t act like beasts!

  2. avatar Amy Sumnall says:

    Beyond disgusting :(

  3. avatar dorothy bothwell says:

    Please, please, do stop this barbarity.

  4. avatar Catherine samson says:

    Sick sick people pure aniaml is in pain help them now

  5. avatar Linda Whelan says:

    This is barbaric and disgustingly cruel, I am appalled this goes on in the 21st century, shame on people who do this to the poor bulls, and then expose children to this so called ” spectacle”.

  6. avatar Juliet says:

    This is disgusting what you allow to happen to bulls you should be ashamed of your selves. Stop this barbaric horrible crime now. I won’t be coming to Spain for any of my holiday cruel cruel people stop it now!!!!!!!
    Is this how you would treat your family and children in this way, no you just incorage them to join in as spectakers cruel cruel people. STOP THIS CRIME NOW BARBARIC PEOPLE STOP!!!!!!!!NOW!!!!!!!!

    • avatar Laura Morros says:

      Yes you are right disgusting, barbarian, cruel, criminal ….. but you can safely go to Cataluna in Spain (Barcelona, Costa Brava) as the bullfight is forbidden by law since 2012. I am not a separatist but I am proud of my birth town Barcelona!

  7. avatar Tyla says:

    There is no dignity in ignorance.

  8. avatar Charlie Jaggers says:

    This is vile and barbaric!

  9. Inhuman, sick people

  10. avatar Gaynor Collins says:

    Please stop this

  11. avatar Ellinor Framvik says:

    Stop this…..NOW….

  12. avatar Jen pollock says:

    It is a disgrace to torment hurt and abuse animals in this way! The matador and all who observe this so called sport are cowards and animal a users and this must stop!!! Tradition is no excuse for such cruelty. Bull fighting MUST STOP NOW! The world is watching in the hope this will stop and is ashamed of how disrespectfully animals are treated world wide! Respect life! Stop pain suffering abs torture!

  13. avatar Tina Nash says:

    This is horrendous it encourages cruelty to future generations. It is quite disgusting enough this goes on and I am not surprised that most Spanish people hate what is happening and want it to stop. I will do all I can to stop this, it sickens me to my stomach. It is the cruelest kind of murder.

  14. avatar monica perez says:

    Stop this now… is not a sport is a barbarie… no more no more…

  15. avatar Marisella Tresiana says:

    There is no necessity for this kind of cruelty.

  16. avatar Ericha Johansson says:

    This is so disgustingly brutal, disgusting and wrong in every possible way. This needs to be banned now!

  17. avatar Ulf Östlund says:

    Stop this stupid and cruel game with live animals…NOW!!!

  18. avatar Sharon Kellett says:

    I have said for years that this is cruel and disgusting, it is not a game, nor is it fun especially for the poor bulls, it should have been stopped years ago but Spain hold it as part of their heritage, I just call it murder, I hate it, they are not matadors they are murderers.

  19. avatar Jennifer Ronsberg says:

    Disgusting disgusting disgusting!!! What is wrong with people??? We should boycott all Spanish holidays until this is stopped, made illegal and punishable with large fines and jail sentences. Absolutely abhorrent abuse subjecting children to such ghastly barbarity as well:((((

  20. avatar Laura Biddle says:

    Think like a bull – how does this feel to you, if it fun, exciting to fight the matador or are you terrified, breathless with fear, pain making you mindlessly attacking the cause of your pain. Death is not the sweet real ease you long for it is a bloody carnage sweat, urinating with fear of not knowing why this is happening to you. Barbaric people do barbaric things to innocent animals who have no choice but to defend themselves to the death

  21. avatar Wendy Ward says:

    Many many people will now decide not to holiday in Spain. It is evil and cruel beyond words.Bullfighters should be put in prison for animal abuse. They are mentally deranged and should not be free to mix in society in the 21st century.

    • avatar Laura Morros says:

      Bullfights are banned in Cataluna, Spain (Barcelona, Costa Brava etc..) since 2012, before that the arena remained half empty and mostly were tourists.

  22. avatar marco says:

    I can’t believe what this human can do if they worth to call humans

  23. Needs stop so cruel
    Gone on far too long

  24. avatar Tony Brown says:


  25. avatar Sara Gutteridge says:

    This is a disgusting sport causing un-necessary pain & terror to innocent animals

  26. avatar GWENDOLINE TURLEY says:


  27. avatar Sheila Tye says:

    This is evil please put a stop to bull fighting no animal should be subjected to cruelty or harm no matter what (especially for entertainment)

  28. avatar Christine Whitfield says:

    I along with probably many others did not realise that the poor bull is still alive when dragged from the arena… the suffering continues! How can people do this and just as sickening how can people watch and call it entertainment??!!

  29. avatar Sarah Brockwell says:

    The Spanish glorify this as ‘art’ and ‘tradition and bravery’. What a load of rubbish, it is animal torture, nothing brave, artistic or good about it. No matter what they call it, it isn’t bull fighting, it’s extreme animal cruelty, and watching it, belittles the audience and shames the toreadors.

  30. avatar jeanne says:

    Many years ago I went to see a bullfight & I found out all this information whilst I was there, I have not been to one since. Its almost the same as Halal meat as I was told the meat goes to feed those in hospitals or institutions after slaughter & bled to death. I kept silent because I was waiting for the truth to come out & if anyone ever asked me what happened in a bullfight I could always tell the truth. It is not a sport it is just entertainment.

  31. This is totally disgusting, these people are evil , they deserve to have the same happen to them.this world is getting worse not better , people have no respect for animals, which is very sad.

  32. avatar Julie Boyd says:

    Evil bastards. It’s barbaric and MUST be stopped now.

  33. avatar Carol Matis says:

    The Spanish who like this are not human it’s absolutly disgusting they should be ashamed of themselves !!!!!!

  34. I cant believe grown men in the 21st century are doing this kind of thing to an animal. The fact that the animal has been cruelly beaten down and exhausted does not make a matador a hero. He is actually a coward anyone can kill a bull when it is already half dead so there is no heroship in this sport.Stop this cruel sport and stop teaching children to think it is ok to torture and kill animals in this way.It is barbaric.

  35. avatar Marcela says:

    Insane and inhumane. I will do whatever if I can help to stop this barbaric tradition. 2014 !!!! Still with middle age stuff, can’t even find a proper name for such action.

  36. avatar Mark.Bondfield says:

    They should be ashamed of them selves. Tradition is no excuse for this sort of behaviour. We no longer burn witches at the stake nor do we drink the blood of our enemies. I could go on about ancient brutality and insane barbarism. Spanish people need to raise up against this. Cruelty to animals is the lowest form of modern mans behaviour. Until Spain stops this they deserve to be disrespected by the rest of the human race, same goes for the many other countless countries failing in their efforts to stamp out animal cruelty.

  37. avatar Shane Chisman says:

    Before we start meddling in other peoples affairs lets stop the Halal slaughter of animals in UK.

  38. avatar Tulin says:

    It’s cruel and evil disgusting.poor animals endure so much should happen to them.what kind of law allows this.

  39. avatar Jandra Scott says:

    Barbarians – the matadors – the crowd -all the people that think it is fine to abuse a defenceless animal – inflicting pain and suffering because it makes them feel powerful…bad bad for Spain!!!

  40. avatar Zoey says:

    This makes me disgusted to be spanish, i will never tolerate this. I protest as much as i can about this type of stuff. I am ashamed of my countries so called “traditions” but everyone can say they are against it etc etc, but what are you all doing about it? Emailing governments? Protests? Being vegan? Signing petitions? Probably neither of the above. This will continue in noy only spain but everywhere until more people take a stand.

  41. avatar Lin Lawler says:

    Maybe we should change the perpective here; let the bulls chase the crowd and gore as many as they can. Then hang the humans by their feet and slit their throats to end suffering. It would only happen once before the whole thing was banned. Why do people think animals are inferior? They don’t kill for fun!

  42. avatar ken roach says:

    disgusting people,it needs to stop.

  43. avatar NANCY says:


  44. avatar Martine Vaffier says:

    How can people enjoy such disgusting show? Are they human beings? I doubt!

  45. avatar Anne Grice says:

    Shocking to the Core? Is this human civilisation? I can’t look at these disturbing, shocking horror which depicts the brutal sinister inhuman tradition by this inherent ruthless nation? Why was it not necessary for Spain to stop this lust for blood and cold blooded killing before it joined the EEC? This is a big disgrace for the EEC and shows just what an immoral unethical community of countries? Spain you are the scourge of the earth. I feel for these activists who documented this blood pleasure because I can’t!

  46. What astounds me, all the graphicity et al is that all of this is still going on in this day and age, it should have been stopped years ago-with outrage at home and internationally, BUT ISN’T in part due to the internal structure of the Spanish mainland politically.

    I would say most Spanish natives are not demented psychotic sadists-but the people are PRIMITVE outside of the Cities…and it is this which causes the justly so reputation- there must be people in positions of power, celebrities whom voice carries a lot of weight who are not speaking out for whatever reason..

    This is not in keeping with the times-the perpertrators of such acts are backward morons of the lowest order imaginable- any sane person would want such acts stopped.

    ACTION is needed NOW- they CAN NOT continue to act as an anomaly removed from the rest of the world…

    THESE DEGENERATE CRETINS GIVE SPAIN A TOTALLY MOROSE REPUTATION to the whole Country and to the Latin Americas-I’ve made my point

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