A man who was busy filming a bull run through the streets of a Spanish town on his mobile phone was horrifically gored by a rogue bull who surprised him from behind.
The Guardian reports that the 32-year-old man who was gored in the neck by the bull was filming the bull-run in Villaseca de la Sargra on Sunday when the crazed beast attacked.
The mayor of Villaseca de la Sagra, Jesus Jijosa revealed that the bull’s rampage sent “shivers down our spine,” before warning that people should always remember that “Bulls are dangerous animals.”
“The young man was on the path of a bull run which he was filming with his mobile phone. A bull surprised him from behind and gored him in the neck.
“This sends shivers down our spine… we organise these events as a tradition, so that people can enjoy them, but these things happen.
“Bulls are dangerous animals and when there are a lot of people some don’t pay attention… you have to have your wits about you.”
Like many towns across Spain, Villaseca de la Sagra prides itself on its annual running with the bulls festival. Such events, where crowds of jeering people run ahead of a herd of bulls along a designated route to the grim arena of the bull ring, where the bewildered beasts are doomed to die a slow and agonising death in front of gleeful crowds, has been dogged by controversy in modern times.
On the League Against Cruel Sports website, both bull running and bullfighting are savagely condemned.
“Each morning bulls are forced to run a kilometre down the cobblestone streets of the town, chased by cheering participants and spectators. Once released, the bulls are frightened with gun shots, electrocuted with cattle prods and kicked and hit by jeering spectators, often down concrete or cobbled streets which they slip and slide on, suffering broken legs and other injuries in the process.”
The League Against Cruel Sports campaigners also claim that once the bulls are chased into the pen prior to their deaths in the ring, the tormented animals are subject to further “weakening.”
The procedures involve the bulls having their horns shaved in an excruciating and disorientating process, before being pumped full of a cocktail of drugs, and having vaseline smeared into their eyes to impair their vision. Things then take a turn from bad to worse for the poor bulls.
“In front of jeering crowds, the bulls are then tortured and antagonised by the matadors on horseback, waving flags and repeatedly stabbing the confused animals in the neck and back. The injured, bleeding bull, weakened and exhausted, is then killed with a sword by the picador.
“If the animal is not killed immediately, it is stabbed repeatedly until paralysed. When the bull finally collapses, its spinal cord is cut, but the animal may still be conscious as its ears and tail are cut off and kept as a ‘trophies.'”
In the face of such barbaric allegations, those who are pro-bullfighting have defended the sports as an ancient and rich tradition part of Spain’s history and culture. Yet those against beg to differ.
“The pro-bullfighting lobby would have us believe the faux ‘contest’ between a willing man and an unwilling bull is ‘art and culture, a magical rite of life, a just and honourable way of life where man and bull combine to create unique and unrepeatable moments’, an argument that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
One of the most famous advocates of bull runs and bullfighting was author Ernest Hemingway, who immortalised the bull run in Pamplona in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.
Many foreign tourists from the U.S. and further afield have flocked to Pamplona to participate in the fiesta if San Fermin, but since 1911, 15 people have been killed in bull runs which take place in the small Navarra town.
Spanish film director Miguel Angel Rolland calculated that during the 1,868 festivals involving bulls last year, more than 11,000 were tortured and killed. Leading the documentary maker to a stark conclusion.
“It hurts me to say it but the Spanish are a savage, insensitive and ignorant people.
“We are a violent nation. My father is a big bullfight aficionado. He used to take us to the fiestas until I was old enough to say no.
“In Spain about 200 animals are killed every day for entertainment. That’s eight terrible deaths every hour.”
(Photos By David Ramos/Getty Images)