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

Posted by 10 months ago | Permalink | Comments (101)

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


  • Kostas commented on July 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Stop this horrible tradition

    Find other ways to attract tourism and make money by using your brain not killing animals

  • Melissa Harrison commented on July 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    This needs to stop NOW

  • Sheree jones commented on July 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Totally barbaric !!!

  • carole green commented on July 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    stop this cruel and barbaric practice

  • Gayle Sargeant commented on July 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    This is abhorrent and MUST BE OUTLAWED!!!! In this so called civilised society HOW are such disgusting,cruel traditions allowed to happen?????

  • Mary Traynor commented on July 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Shameful display of horrendous animal torture.

  • nicola costello commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    stop this stupid barbarick inhumane torture

  • Laura Shannon commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    This is not a sport it’s animal cruelty and it vile and disgusting!!
    Makes me sick human beings can treat animals this way!!!!

  • Ruth beighton commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Sport? Tradition? Or just sadistic murder. I think the latter .

  • Rob Fordham commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    This has got to stop. It’s hideously inhumane. Just because it is part of your culture doesnt men it’s ok. For the sake of these beautiful creatures STOP NOW!!!!!

  • Adam Robinson commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    DISGUSTING!!!!!!!! can not believe this is allowed!!!!!!! Stop it now!!!!

  • Cherrol Bibby commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Its barbaric and disgusts me, so what are you teaching future generations.. Killing is murdering no matter how you dress it up, so please for the love of God stop this!

  • Jennifer commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Please stop this ugly and unnecessary torture

  • Lisa Lumsden commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    It’s disgusting !!!!! Them poor bulls, me and my family go to Spain a lot, and I have always said to my kids how cruel it is, it has never interested us at all

  • Elaine Armstrong commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Elaine Armstrong is appalled that this barbaric treatment of these animals is allowed to continue!!
    I or anyone I know would attend this cruelty that these sick people call “Tradition” Spain should be ashamed!

  • samantha rudolph commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    This is disgraceful. What is wrong with Spain that they haven’t figured or that torture and murder is all their “tradition” really is??!!
    Spain… Land Of Vile Human Existance… an embarrassment to the theory of evolving intelligence!

  • Marion Zürn commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Das ist eine überholte Traditin,barbarisch,unnötig und lebensverachtend..

  • Sarah Brocklehurst commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Sick, evil, cruel horrible country! How can anyone do this do those beautiful innocent animals. People who enjoy watching it are just as sick!

  • Sarah Barton commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    This is absolutely horrific torture of animals and must be stopped NOW!!

  • EMMANUEL CLaudine commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    je SIGNE !ces abominations immondes commises par ces malades avec un public de malades autorisées par de gouvernements de malades doivent cesser! mondieu quelle abomination !!!

  • Tara van den Kerkhof commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    This has to stop! How can dthe EU allow this?

  • Tara van den Kerkhof commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    This has to stop! How can the EU allow this to happen? Stop these barbarians!

  • Tara van den Kerkhof commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm


  • Nina Aked commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I would never visit your country, I urge others to do the same, this barbarity belongs to the dark ages. Disgusted that you consider this culture or sport.

  • Lynne Tate commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    It is sad to think that in 2014 man is as barbaric as he was in the stoneage when at least he had an excuse as he hunted to live. Bullfighting is not a sport and should be banned.

  • Ruth Owen commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Thus is absolutely disgusting. Where is the humanity for the bull (and horse)? In 2014 this is insane and evil.

  • Amrita commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Disgusting!!! This has to be STOPPED!!!

  • Terry Chalmers commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    There is no place for this barbarity in our world ,shame on you

  • Kelly Cadwallader commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    This is disgusting. How can anyone make an innocent, defenceless bull endeavor such torture. Spanish attendees of this so called “sport” should be ashamed of themselves. You wouldn’t want to observe a human go through such torture, so why allow this to happen to innocent animals, who just want to have a quiet calm life.

  • Veronika Sabeva commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    No comment!

  • therese hyland commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    This is a barbaric has to stop NOW.

  • magic star moreno commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    This is disgusting animal abuse!! How dare you hurt another living creature for amusment, , shame on you!! How manly dose hurting an animal make you? Disgrace, ,,

  • magic star moreno commented on July 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Disgusting display of animal cruelty! !! Shame shame shame on you who condone harming life,, disgusting and cruel, barbaric! !How manly dose it make you to hurt an animal!! Disgrace

  • sara o'shaughnessy commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    This is so very wrong. Certain “traditions” can be changed therefore encouraging our children to look differently to the way animals are treated. Not just for money and so called entertainment. Atrocious and cruel.

  • Karla Campbell commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Nothing infuriates me more than this

    it’s disgusting it goes on

  • erik van der reijden commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    just useless killing for no reason at all

  • deepthi ajay commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    These people are cowards. Its no where a fair game. Its just murdering a helpless. Why such tradition is required that makes no sense at all. Put an end to all this. watching these makes the kids grow psychic and cruel that might make him a criminal.

  • Simone Moore commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Disgusting and anyone who thinks this is ok should have the same awful cruelty inflicted on them.

  • Niki stretton commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    This is absolutely disgusting and should be banned all over the world. They should e ashamed

  • Billy Ross commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Ban this barbaric pastime. I dont class this as sport, only cruelty to animals

  • Jodi Martin commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I have had nightmares about this for years and will NEVER EVER visit SPAIN as long as I LIVE! (as well as other countries for cruelty to their animals). It is so sick, that right now I could throw up and am fighting the tears! Such cruelty to animals is just unbearable to read about, see pictures, on TV, and to think that a country makes money on Tourism. Not to mention the idiots that go and enjoy watching this hideous sport, take them to the back where the suffering continues !!!!!! I actually can not believe this. There are simple EVIL people !!!!!!!!

  • shanette chapman commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I hope that KARMA finds these EVIL SCUMBAGS who brutally abuse and kill innocent bulls..i know they only the most timid shy bulls will be used as they are not likely to attack the erm? “brave” matador (NOT) the bulls have been seen to cry with pain after they have been repeatedly stabbed in the shoulders with the this “sport”??? NO it is cowardice and needs to be stopped!
    DO NOT GO TO SPAIN DO NOT ATTEND a bullfight if you do go..boycott this awful “tradition” hit the Spanish in the pocket where it will hurt them unless a complete ban on bullfighting is declared.

  • Jane North commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    These Bulls are majestic creatures and don’t deserve to be treated in such a barbaric way. The humans who take part in this and also the spectators are just ignorant Neanderthals. This form of cruelty should be banned without delay.

  • John Spiers commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Saw this advertisement online to holiday to the San Fermin Festival ‘In Style’

    • Anne commented on July 24, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Thank you for sharing this, John!

  • margaret commented on July 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    this is barbaric and should be stopped,the bull has no choice he has to fight.

  • jackie elsey commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Stop this!!! This pure evil

  • Carol broadbent commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    This is barbaric it has to stop

  • kirsten Ytterberg commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    STOPPPPPP this awfull treatment of innocent animals – what did this bull do to you?????????????

  • Malcolm Phillips commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    It is long past time that these animals were placed beyond the reach of those who organise this event. It is barbaric and has no plce in any civilised society no matter how much of a tradition it is. If the tradition is cruel it should be stopped.

  • John Carmody commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    This is beyond words.

  • Henny Vlaar commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm

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

  • Amy Sumnall commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Beyond disgusting :(

  • dorothy bothwell commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Please, please, do stop this barbarity.

  • Catherine samson commented on July 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Sick sick people pure aniaml is in pain help them now

  • Linda Whelan commented on July 23, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    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”.

  • Juliet commented on July 23, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    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!!!!!!!!

    • Laura Morros commented on August 7, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      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!

  • Tyla commented on July 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    There is no dignity in ignorance.

  • Charlie Jaggers commented on July 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This is vile and barbaric!

  • Sandra Nesbitt commented on July 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Inhuman, sick people

  • Gaynor Collins commented on July 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Please stop this

  • Ellinor Framvik commented on July 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Stop this…..NOW….

  • Jen pollock commented on July 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    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!

  • Tina Nash commented on July 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    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.

  • monica perez commented on July 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm

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

  • Marisella Tresiana commented on July 23, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    There is no necessity for this kind of cruelty.

  • Ericha Johansson commented on July 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm

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

  • Ulf Östlund commented on July 23, 2014 at 8:56 pm

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

  • Sharon Kellett commented on July 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    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.

  • Jennifer Ronsberg commented on July 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    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:((((

  • Laura Biddle commented on July 23, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    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

  • Wendy Ward commented on July 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    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.

    • Laura Morros commented on August 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm

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

  • marco commented on July 23, 2014 at 11:41 pm

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

  • Jeanette tannock commented on July 23, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Needs stop so cruel
    Gone on far too long

  • Tony Brown commented on July 24, 2014 at 1:17 am


  • Sara Gutteridge commented on July 24, 2014 at 5:38 am

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

  • GWENDOLINE TURLEY commented on July 24, 2014 at 6:09 am


  • Sheila Tye commented on July 24, 2014 at 7:14 am

    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)

  • Christine Whitfield commented on July 24, 2014 at 7:18 am

    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??!!

  • Sarah Brockwell commented on July 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    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.

  • jeanne commented on July 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    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.

  • Susan Sargeant commented on July 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    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.

  • Julie Boyd commented on July 24, 2014 at 10:11 pm

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

  • Carol Matis commented on July 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm

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

  • elaine jauncey commented on July 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    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.

  • Marcela commented on July 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    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.

  • Mark.Bondfield commented on July 25, 2014 at 6:39 am

    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.

  • Shane Chisman commented on July 25, 2014 at 8:51 am

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

  • Tulin commented on July 25, 2014 at 11:35 am

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

  • Jandra Scott commented on July 25, 2014 at 11:48 am

    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!!!

  • Zoey commented on July 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    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.

  • Lin Lawler commented on July 25, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    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!

    • Janette commented on August 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Wholeheartedly agree with you here. Humans are the scum of this earth…

  • ken roach commented on July 30, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    disgusting people,it needs to stop.

  • NANCY commented on August 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm


  • Martine Vaffier commented on August 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm

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

  • Anne Grice commented on August 7, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    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!

  • sandra scarth commented on October 4, 2014 at 10:18 am

    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

  • jyoti commented on March 27, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Animals better than these spanish humans

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