More Than 100 Activists Stage Naked ‘Die In’ To Protest Against Bullfighting In Pamplona

For Immediate Release:
3 July 2011

Sandra Smiley +44 (0) 20 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

Pamplona, Spain – Today, sprawled naked on the street covered in brown, black and red bodypaint, more than 100 members and supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) UK and AnimaNaturalis participated in a demonstration prior to Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls. The protesters, amongst them activists from England and Scotland, created a live tableau of a bloodied bull – a striking representation of one of the many bulls beaten and killed during the cruel event.

Prior to the Running of the Bulls, electric prods and sharp sticks are used to rile the bulls into a frenzy. Often debilitated with tranquilisers, the horrified bulls slip and slide along the narrow streets, pursued by hundreds, before they end up in the bullring. There, as many as eight men are set against one terrified bull to taunt, beat and jab him with daggers for approximately 15 minutes, until the matador finally stabs the exhausted animal with a sword. Many bulls drown in their own blood when the matador’s aim is inaccurate and the sword only pierces the animal’s lungs. Next, a short dagger, or puntilla, is used to sever the bull’s spinal cord at the neck before the animal is dragged out of the arena – but in some cases, the bull is still alive as he is hauled away.

Spanish opposition to bullfighting is mounting. Last year, the Catalan Parliament voted overwhelmingly to ban bullfighting in the region after officials were presented with the signatures of 180,000 residents demanding an end to the carnage. Bullfighting has also been outlawed in the Canary Islands for 20 years, and many more Spanish cities and towns are declaring their opposition to bullfighting. According to a 2009 Gallup survey, 76 per cent of Spaniards had no interest in attending or supporting bullfights.

“Times and sensibilities have changed, and bullfighting is no longer a tradition that the majority of the Spanish people wish to protect”, says PETA Manager Mimi Bekhechi. “Tormenting, torturing, and violently killing animals for entertainment is an archaic form of human amusement that belongs in the history books.”