PETA Activists Fill Sky With ‘Blood’ to Protest Torture of Bulls in Pamplona

Posted by on July 5, 2017 | Permalink

Around 100 supporters of PETA and AnimaNaturalis gathered in the centre of Pamplona, Spain, this morning ahead of the Running of the Bulls.

With “Stop Bullfights” emblazoned in black paint on their nearly naked bodies, their message was clear. The activists snapped banderilla props filled with powdered red paint above their heads, filling the sky with a cloud of “blood”. As the “blood” settled, they held up signs in English and Spanish with a reminder for festival-goers: “Bulls Die a Bloody Death in Pamplona”.


Banderillas are bright sticks with a harpoon point on the end which bullfighters drive into the bull’s back, neck, and other body parts in the bullring. Once he’s weakened and exhausted – blood pouring from his wounds – the matador stabs him with a sword. The matador‘s aim is often inaccurate, and if the sword pierces the bull’s lungs instead of his heart, it can cause him to drown in his own blood. Should the matador fail to kill him, an executioner enters the ring to cut his spinal cord with a dagger, before he’s chained and dragged out of the arena – often paralysed but still conscious.

Many tourists don’t realise that the bulls who are forced to run through Pamplona’s streets are the same ones who will later be tortured and killed in the bullring. The animals suffer throughout the entire Running of the Bulls, too, as they’re commonly tormented with electric prods and sharpened sticks before being released into the screaming crowd. The panicked animals often slip and crash into walls as they run, resulting in broken bones and other injuries.


Activists from countries around the world – including Australia, Ireland, the UK, and the US – travelled to take part in the protest, which is organised by PETA and AnimaNaturalis every year. They were joined by dozens of Spanish activists, representing the huge majority of people in the country who do not support bullfighting.

Animals aren’t ours to do with as we please – not in the name of tradition, culture, or anything else. Decent people must reject violent and archaic practices like the Running of the Bulls and create new traditions that don’t involve the torment or killing of sentient beings.

What You Can Do

Never attend or take part in any bullfights or bull runs. Please also sign and share our petition to the Prime Minister of Spain asking him to outlaw these cruel events.

Bull lying bleeding after bullfight

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© Lisa Markulla