Photos: Mass ‘Bloodbath’ in Pamplona’s Main Square Marks Start of Grisly Running of the Bulls

Posted by 5 months ago | Permalink | Comments (103)

This morning in Spain, dozens of people from all over the world took part in a “bloody” protest against bullfighting and the Running of the Bulls.


135 litres of theatrical blood, 75 bright red buckets, 75 pairs of black underwear, a heap of bullhorn headbands and activists from at least nine different countries.

These are the ingredients that went into creating a truly remarkable spectacle in Pamplona’s main square today, as a huge crowd of international protesters simultaneously drenched themselves in “blood” to make the point that the city’s annual San Fermín festival is a “bloodbath for bulls”.

PETA has been teaming up with Spanish animal rights group AnimaNaturalis for many years to organise hard-hitting demonstrations against the Running of the Bulls and the slaughter in the bullring that follows. But this year might just have been our most graphic protest yet!

Many of the protesters were compassionate Spaniards who fundamentally disagree with bulls being massacred simply for entertainment in their country. Others travelled from all corners of the globe, including Australia, Russia, Sweden and the UK, to take part. But wherever they were from, their motivation was the same: to take a stand for compassion and oppose the violence of bullfights.

The visual was designed to mimic the drunken revellers – many of whom are American, Australian or British tourists – who douse themselves with sangria at the Running of the Bulls, oblivious to the fact that every single one of the terrified animals they chase through the cobbled streets will be dead a few days later after being stabbed to death in a bullfight.

Fifty-four bulls are killed every year at the San Fermín festival. Their deaths are prolonged, painful and played out in front of a jeering crowd. Armed men (and occasionally women) will taunt and spear a bull over and over again, before a matador stabs the weakened, bleeding animal with a sword, posing over his dying body and sometimes cutting off his ears or tail as trophies.

We Animals Dead Bull CroppedJo-Anne McArthur | We Animals

This performance is cruel and completely out of step with the values of progressive, modern Spain, where 93 per cent of young people don’t support bullfights. There’s no getting around the fact that foreign tourists who flock to run with the bulls every year are complicit in this bloodshed, even if they would never dream of actually setting foot in the bullfighting arena.

There is hope, however. Across Spain, more and more local authorities are deciding to update their laws and ban bullfights and other cruel “traditions” in their areas. The anti-bullfighting movement is gathering real momentum.

How You Can Help

Join our campaign asking Spanish mayors – including the mayor of Pamplona – to ban bullfights. We want to show these leaders that they don’t need bullfights to attract visitors to their city – in fact, quite the opposite.

We’re gathering hundreds of positive messages showcasing what people love about Spain, from food and wine to architecture and music, to be delivered to politicians at the end of summer and to let them know that we think Spain is #BetterThanBullfights!


  • Wendy Fullthorpe commented on July 5, 2016 at 2:19 pm


    • kay Byrne commented on July 5, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      Well done you BRAVE people . Hands up for you. No animal should be subjected to such violent treatment and then die. CRUEL CRULCRUEL.

      • Karin Lady Parker commented on July 6, 2016 at 2:17 pm

        Here here

      • Varun Adlakha commented on July 6, 2016 at 7:27 pm

        well done team Peta , god bless your team ,

      • kat perkins commented on July 27, 2016 at 8:28 pm

        Very proud of these young people standing up for the bulls, shame on the “elders” who support killing.

      • mickie commented on July 31, 2016 at 10:43 pm

        This must stop shame on Spain to still continue this barbaric sport, well done to all those that live in Spain and oppose it!

    • S a Lloyd commented on July 6, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      I will not visit thus country until they end their barbarism against animals

    • sue commented on July 6, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      Spain……….do you think you do yourselves any favours by allowing this truly barbaric indulgence to take place

  • Leonie Pogson commented on July 5, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Please spain just put a end to the barbaric bull fighting you are a cruel country and you have no feelings for these very beautiful bulls and show no love to them and I am so disgusted in you all for doing it and can’t you see the poor slaughted bull crying for his life and you just keep on stabbing him with those very horrible barbaric large swords to his death and then you drag the poor slaughted bull off like nothing had happen and you make me sick just stop this horrible sport now because it is not right and did you know that all our animals have a right to be loved and to live in peace and to be free from harm and danger ok thank you

    • Maureen O'Donoghue. commented on July 6, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Your heart may be in the right place, but insulting Spain and all its people is absolutely the wrong way to try to bring about change. Bullfighting is now an ‘old man’s’ sport which the majority of the young Spaniards despise. Different areas of Spain are beginning to ban it and the support of tourists (who are not Spanish) is one of the main reasons it keeps going. I don’t know where you come from, but I’m sure your own country is guilty of terrible abuses of animals ,too – because all countries are.

      • Bronach commented on July 11, 2016 at 9:04 pm

        Maureen I think you are missing the point. Bullfighting is NOT an ” old mans” sport… what age do you think madators are?
        the areas in spain who still allows the barbaric event is thinking “money”… its all about ” money”… there is NO romantic story of slaughter, where you injure the animal to reduce the chance of it winning, and turning it into a public event. Tourists do not breed the bulls, they don’t earn a salary keeping it going, and they don’t kll the bull and dispose of they The Spanish anti-bullfighting groups do NOT blme non spanish tourists… case your mind back to Rome.. !!!!

  • Nigel Wilkins commented on July 5, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Vile and cowardly.How can this be lauded as a respected sport. Please stop this practice as soon as possible.

  • Darlene sewell commented on July 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Spain is a beautiful country with beautiful people. But I cant and wont visit Spain again until these cruel barbaric traditions stop. Not all traditions should be continued and this one needs to stop. Why not have a carnival instead without the harming of animals. Come on Spain you are better than this

    • Rosane Oliveira commented on July 5, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      Sure, I have the same opinion.

    • José Luis Lozano commented on July 6, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      I’m a spanish citizen and I understand you.
      I’m ashamed for this barbaric festival. I hope you can visit us soon without bullfighting.
      Until then we will work for baning this bloody tradition.

      • Jo commented on July 6, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        Great that spanish people also find this barbaric,so end this killing of bulls you are no better than poachers there is no no sport or pride in this sort of action.

      • Jennifer Lane commented on July 6, 2016 at 5:29 pm

        Jose Luis Lozano, thank you from the bottom of my heart. xx

    • Ángela. commented on July 13, 2016 at 9:35 am

      You no idea what it’s like living here, being Spanish, and having to see this on the news daily. It makes my blood boil. I don’t know anyone who likes bullfighting. Its “supporters” are a very specific type of individual. Most Spaniards despise bullfighting but some people make a lot of money out of it so it’s very hard to end it. I dream of a day when bullfighting is completely banned in my country. Please, don’t think all Spaniards like this, it’s quite the opposite. But a few people want to continue with this barbaric tradition and they hold a lot of power in the government. People don’t vote for new governments and parties that want to end this. There is a long way to go in terms of animal welfare but I won’t lose hope.

  • kathleen thomas commented on July 5, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    When are you people going to stop hurting and killing these poor animals.You are sick.

  • Eunju cha commented on July 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    must be stop !
    That is not spots!
    That’s murder !

  • Steven commented on July 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Evil sadistic spiks. Get a grip

  • Anit Andrews commented on July 5, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I would never holiday in Spain if this is how they treat animals. It’s discusting in these times were people are supposed to be civilised. Stop it NOW !!!

  • Jenn commented on July 5, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    This is disgusting and should no longer be happening!!!

  • MADHULIKA CHIKKERUR commented on July 5, 2016 at 5:15 pm


  • Marianne commented on July 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    People that hurt animals for fun are not anything than bad. The World should be a better Place whitout those idiots

  • Joy skinner commented on July 5, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Sickening, you are barbaric.

  • Nicki Hill commented on July 5, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Great protest! How anyone can find torture and killing of an animal entertaining is beyond me. Keep up the fantastic work!

  • Salome Planas commented on July 5, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I am from Barcelona, Spain, and I just HATE IT!!! Here many people are fighting against this barbaric tradition and I really hope that new generations will get it… Many thanks for your support from other countries!!!

  • Konrad B commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    STOP THIS! This is absolutely sick! Humans are a disgrace!!!!!!!

  • Abhishek Jaitly commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Please stop this freaking event. Have some pity on poor souls. May god bless the animals and give some wisdom to the law makers.

  • Katerina Srubarova commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    STOP IT !!!!!!

  • Julia bromley commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    I shall not be coming to mainland Spain again until late this stops and neither will another of people..only uncivilised morons behave like’s the 21St century ..for gods sake stop this please.

  • Albina ali commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Its high time we speak up for the speechless and defend the defenceless because this is what makes us superior.. Ensuring the well being of other lives on earth instead of exploiting them for our own intrest..

    • Christopher Owen commented on July 31, 2016 at 4:54 am

      Your comment is perfect. I couldn’t have improved on it.
      You’ve spoken eloquently in two powerful lines. As a supporter of animal rights in nearly 20 different organizations, often with tears in my eyes I applaud your words Albina!!!.

  • Carol Matis commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    This Grotesque Inhumane so called sport must be stopped Brussels should of taken it in hand !!!!!!!

  • Kathleen commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I wish these animals had a voice as the human race seems to think this is ok .when will this all stop , when will enough be enough .what do we have to do to show people that we want this to stop .

  • Barbara Everhart commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I will never step foot into the beautiful country of Spain as long as bullfighting is considered entertaining!

  • Christine Mohr commented on July 5, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Stop please
    Stop this
    Stop now

  • Sofia commented on July 5, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Wtf?! Stop, just stop. What is acctuarly wrong with this world, we human are discusting! Every coutry should learn from eathother. Spain, you should learn from India where they treat cows well. China you should learn from Nepal where they treat dogs well.

  • Lena Chenery commented on July 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    It’s barbaric, blood thirsty and cruel, what a opinion to have of an otherwise lovely country! Why do you still do it??? You are supposed to be civilised!!!

  • Laura sinfield commented on July 5, 2016 at 8:08 pm


  • Geoff commented on July 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    What kind of world are we living in for God’s sake ? … sad for 2016 ….am ashamed to be a human being!!!!!!

  • Lucinda Colebeck commented on July 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Absolutely devastating to see what humans are capable of. These animals have feelings the same as us, why are people so blind to this? A very powerful demonstration, well done Peta!

  • Holly Sugden commented on July 5, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    I love the beautiful scenery and architecture!

  • claire keir commented on July 5, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    About time this was stoped

  • claire keir commented on July 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    This needs to stop now.

  • Romola Newport commented on July 5, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Bullfighters are cowards, there is nothing heroic in fighting a defenseless Animal.

  • william cowan commented on July 5, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    21st century this is not what we need to see when visiting spain your country is known for many good things treating defenceless animals this way is not one of them please stop it now.

  • Roberta struthers commented on July 5, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    This has to stop.

  • Prasad commented on July 5, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Brutality in the name of sports by cowards!

  • Bella Hanlo commented on July 5, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Heartbreaking to see this on film never mind in actual time. There is NOTHING noble about these festivals, they can be enjoyed without the bulls or ‘bullfighting’. Ban these uncivilised, primitive fiestas now.

  • Pam Elliott commented on July 5, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Absolutely disgusting bullfighting is a stain on Spain as a civilised country please stop!!!!!!

  • heather tisdale commented on July 6, 2016 at 1:29 am


  • Alicia Moberg commented on July 6, 2016 at 3:25 am


  • tom gammon commented on July 6, 2016 at 5:09 am


  • Medhini Narasimhan commented on July 6, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Stop this cruelty. Killing an innocent animal is no feat of bravery.

  • Ipsita Mazumdar commented on July 6, 2016 at 7:01 am

    what are we without compassion? in a world torn apart with terror & minimum value for any life, we are who we choose to be. please reconsider the fact that we are no longer in the medieval age. if we can move beyond iron maidens, chainsaws & burning alive at stakes, why can’t we move beyond this sadism too?

  • Kadri Hulp commented on July 6, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Unbelievable!! Torturing bulls for entertainment still take place in 21.century? Just psychopathic.

  • SPIKE commented on July 6, 2016 at 9:14 am

    SPAIN – Part of the EU and nothing is being done about this ‘traditional’ slaughter – Glad the UK has voted to leave.

    • Ángela. commented on July 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Well, I’m Spanish and I hate that this is still being allowed in my country. I wonder the same: we are part of the EU, why aren’t they banning it? Our government is so corrupt that they don’t wand to end this because it brings money in so the EU should force this country to stop it, instead, they choose to look the other way.

  • Teresa SAWYERS commented on July 6, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Spain has so many wonderful things to be proud of: its climate, its music, its food, its beautiful landscapes, its art, its architecture, its joie de vivre….But how can you Spaniards be proud of a tradition like bullfighting ? Such cruelty spoils the whole country. What a pity that Spain should be splattered with blood ! I recommend that all tourists boycott Spain until this vile tradition is abolished. BASTA CORRIDA !!!

    • Ángela. commented on July 13, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Well, that’s the thing. We’re not proud,most of us are disgusted by this but a few people make a lot of money from it and the government is so corrupt and greedy that they don’t have any interest in stopping it . I don’t have any single friend that supports this. Most Spaniards don’t. Yet it is still going on. There’s a lot of organisations here pushing the government to stop it but they won’t. The government has to change and people don’t vote for other parties so…

  • Donna Hopton commented on July 6, 2016 at 9:43 am

    A cruel cruel bloodfest. Shame on you

  • Inger commented on July 6, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Please stop this barbaric torture. There is nothing entertaining watching animals suffer for your entertainment. Where is your compassion?

  • Sahil commented on July 6, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Dear Spanish elites
    I never visited your country, bit I surely wants to. There is just one thing I wanted to say, all of your beaches and culture is fairly enough to attract people. These bull fight are ridiculous as well as disgusting.
    Kindly stop them bull fighting, this will help Spain in every manner.
    Thank you
    With love
    An Indian

  • Dee Cass commented on July 6, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I love the beaches in Spain. The white sand and the beautiful clear blue water.

  • Pea Brodhurst commented on July 6, 2016 at 11:10 am

    This is the most barbaric, mediaeval ‘ritual’ and should be stopped TODAY, right now… is shocking beyond belief.

  • priscilla littmoden commented on July 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Disgusting, these people are savages, how can they derive pleasure from this massacre

  • sophia commented on July 6, 2016 at 3:37 pm


  • Geraldine BROOKES commented on July 6, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    This is one reason I voted to leave the EU us giving money to Spain to help with Bulls.All life is sacred this cruel barbaric vile treatment of animals should be stopped.I will not visit a country who has no regard for there animals and Spain is certainly one of those.

  • Jo commented on July 6, 2016 at 5:20 pm


  • Jessica commented on July 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Stop this!!!.. Poor bulls…
    Find something else for entertainment

  • Sharon Privett commented on July 6, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    There is no excuse, be it cultural or otherwise, for such cruelty in todays world. Spain has so much to offer, they do not need this barbarity to entice people to visit their country, qute the opposite. I ask the Spanish authorities to end this once and for all.

  • Lynn Soeters commented on July 6, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    This needs to stop! It is beyond awful!
    Spain you have so much to offer….beautiful food and wine, amazing people and weather, great scenery. You do not need this. It is outdated and cruel

  • Joanna Bamford commented on July 6, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Can’t understand how this is allowed to continue in a supposedly civilised country. Barbaric. What a blot on the landscape of such s beautiful place.

  • Marion Kamilatos commented on July 6, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    This sickens me.. Matadors are like terrorist who get pleasure of killing life.. Sad so sad ..

  • Surabhi commented on July 6, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Let there be change of heart from cruelty to kindness. God is within creature on earth. Give them a chance to live too.


  • Erika commented on July 6, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    This is not culture. Stop this cruelty !

  • Sheila Muncaster commented on July 6, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Shame on you Spain. There is no place for this cruel, senseless torture of a magnificent animal in today’s modern society. Fiesta’s without Blood!! Show you do have compassion.

  • Sheila Muncaster commented on July 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Shame on Spain. There is no place in today’s modern society for such a cruel and barbaric torture of these noble beasts. Fiestas without Blood. !! Wake up Spain, the World is watching.

  • Ben Abbas commented on July 6, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    This barbaric slaying of innocent bulls for the gratification of the human ego needs to stop, end of story.

  • Lisa commented on July 6, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Just stop this Spain… Let’s sit down with a Sangria instead

  • Muriel Servaege commented on July 6, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you for demonstrating.

  • Liz commented on July 6, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Spain has a country to be proud of – friendly people, beautiful beaches , amazing coastline and wonderful historic cities. And yet by allowing animal torture to continue unchecked you diminish yourselves in the eyes of the compassionate world. Please ban it immediately. Have your drunken parties if you must but leave animals out of it.

  • john sizer commented on July 7, 2016 at 2:05 am

    Very sad people thinking that this Horrific treatment of Animals is entertainment. This should not be lauded as a sport but as barbaric slaughter for what it is!. Please Please stop this 🙁

  • Stephanie Forrand commented on July 7, 2016 at 2:37 am

    I have always wanted to visit Spain because of its rich culture. However, I have hesitated because I love all animals and do not support the “running of the Bulls” tradition. Please end this cruel, torturous tradition. More animal lovers like me will flock to Spain for all of the other amazing things it has to offer!!

  • Mark Robertson commented on July 7, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I love Spain and surrounding Spanish islands. I go there for enjoyment of the sun sea sand nightlife and food. Seeing this barbaric and horrific act makes me ashamed to be Human. If this is allowed to continue then I will seriously consider holidaying somewhere else.

  • Günther Raicher commented on July 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

    In the 19th century the British historian James Antony Froude said :
    “Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.”

    Now we have the 21st, and it changed to the worse ;-(

  • joanna reyers commented on July 7, 2016 at 11:36 am

    For gods sake this is wicked and cruel beyond belief. STOP IT NOW PLEASE

  • Khairunnisa commented on July 7, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Hope the bulls would be release from this inhumane act. 🙁

  • Margaret Martinez Alzate commented on July 7, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Animals are not objects to treat like inanimate objects. Where is the live? The caring? The empathy? The ‘humanity? We are the lowest of the low as a species if we are unable to look after our wildlife & domesticated animals. Shame on you toreadorses. Que verguenza!

  • Margaret Martinez Alzate commented on July 7, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    We need to protect our wildlife & domesticated animals. Bullfighting is so one sided & the bull has no choice in the matter. It is so cruel & unfair.

  • Thiagusankar. commented on July 8, 2016 at 10:14 am

    The animal has also got life…it’s got feeling… affection … can even communicate. . How can any one .in the name of game chase and kill it.what an amount of torture it goes thru before get killed…. have mercy ..stop this brutal act.

    • Debra Newton commented on July 11, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      I completely agree with your wonderful comment. Brilliantly said.

  • Nick Halpin commented on July 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Bravo PETA

  • Margaret Martinez Alzate commented on July 8, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    It is very positive that so much awareness is being raised re bullfighting in Pamplona. Neither art nor sport, just devastating cruelty with no empathy whatsoever for the beautiful bull. Spain has so many positives , it’s a shame that in 2016 it still carries the stain of bull’s blood on its hands. Thankfully Pamplona’s Mayor is at one with the protesters! Let’s hope this will translate into law at the earliest opportunity.

  • Debra Newton commented on July 11, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I feel a film should be made where it is reversed that humans should be forced to run then made to be in a ring where they have the swords stabbed into them just like the bulls endur .
    Maybe even start by the young taken from their mother’s. need to shock the stupid Spanish traditionalists. What a fantastic March the activists did..

  • Brenda Felker commented on July 12, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Please stop the senseless brutal killing of bulls! I would love to travel to Spain, your country is rich in culture and beauty! I WILL NEVER EXPERIENCE SPAIN UNTIL ANIMAL RIGHTS ARE ENFORCED!!! STOP THE CRUELTY! Then I promise I will come and bring tourist money.

  • George Michael Graham commented on July 27, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Some people have sick ways to entertain themselves. The bull running must be stopped!

  • Mark Russell commented on August 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Well done to those protesters. We cannot blame the whole of Spain and its people though. I am sure there are many people in Spain who abhor this horrendous cruelty. I would hate to think people from other countries hated me for being from the UK when we had foxhunting and the Waterloo Cup. All countries have cruelty to animals but the decent people of those countries cannot be held accountable.

  • Patricia Burns commented on August 30, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Barbaric torture and killing of bulls must stop now!!

    Please show your children you want an end to these barbaric acts.

  • Barbara Everhart commented on August 30, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Why can’t I read comments without posting a new one every time I try to revisit them? I strongly want this horrible excuse for entertainment to cease immediately!

  • Tracy Nichole commented on November 18, 2016 at 7:03 am

    I am Australian and I have quite literally loved everything about Spain since I first visited in 2007, except the bullfighting. To the Spanish Government, your country and your people are so incredibly wealthy in art, architecture, food, fashion, design and more. If it is purely financial motivation that drives the continuation of this festival and bull fighting in general, why do you not draw on the creativity and passion Spain is renowned for around the world and transform these acts of Mutilation into one of Celebration – I have seen the incredible bull sculptures in Barcelona and seen firsthand the respect most Spaniards have for this magnificent creature …so why not take that energy and passion and transform something that has become a major PR nightmare into an international arts-based Celebration of the Bull – this would bring incredible and positive exposure for Spain, and demonstrate your ability to successfully evolve historically challenging activities into powerful, progressive and meaningful messages. It would be something for all Spaniards to be proud of and would no doubt draw participation, sponsorship, and event-based tourism from the world over. I love Spain, I love you bulls, no matter how corrupt people say you, the Government are, a transformative approach such as this can only deliver a win-win.

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