EXCLUSIVE: ‘Barbaric’ moment bull has blazing balls of fire attached to its horns and thrashes around in terror at Spanish festival
- The Toro Jubilo – Joy of the Bull – is an annual festival held in Soria, Spain, since the Middle Ages
- It involves covering an animal in flammable tar, setting it on fire and leaving it to run around an arena
Each November, the residents of Medinaceli in Spain taunt, cheer and dart around a burning bull as he runs, terrified, through the streets. The historic town is steeped in tradition, home to carefully preserved Roman relics and Medieval castles. But among them, the Toro Jubilo stands out as the greatest anachronism.
The Medieval festival involves tying the animal to a post, slathering it in a sticky, black substance made from coal tar or petroleum, and setting its horns on fire. The bulls smash into walls in panicked attempts to escape the flames, which can stay alight for hours, scorching their horns, eyes and body.
Footage recorded by animal protection group AnimaNaturalis and shared with MailOnline via Peta shows a group of men holding down the bull as it tries to struggle free at the event on Sunday, November 12. Pulled by his tail, the animal is wound around the post before being set loose.
Tragic scenes show the bull in quieter moments stood alone, caked in mud, visibly confused and unable to shake off the fire attached to his face. At times he slips, falls and members of the crowd rush in to poke at him or pull on his tail. Meanwhile, fireworks sound overhead as the centuries-old tradition comes to an end.
‘Attaching balls of burning pitch to a live animal is barbaric and puts a stain on Spain’s reputation in the international community,’ said Peta vice president for UK and Europe Mimi Bekhechi. ‘Peta is calling on Spanish authorities to put an end to this violent bull-burning festival and replace it with a new celebration that leaves animals in peace instead of in flames.’
Last November, the bull collapsed from exhaustion and died of a brain haemorrhage during the 48-minute event. The festival remains mostly unchanged since the Middle Ages.
A man is knocked over by the bull tied to the post during the Toro Jublio celebrations in Spain on November 12
The bull is tied closely to a post while its horns are doused in a tar-like substance and set alight, before being set free
From another angle, the bull is seen to have been caked in mud, with a wooden beam on its head to limit burns
The festival takes place every November, a centuries-old tradition mostly unchanged since the Middle Ages
Crowds taunt the bull, cheering and dancing around the arena in a ritual. It is one of more than 17,000 bull festivals in Spain
‘Pitch’ – a sticky substance made from tar, turpentine or petrol – is used to keep the blaze alight, often for hours
‘Attaching balls of burning pitch to a live animal is barbaric and puts a stain on Spain’s reputation in the international community,’ says PETA Vice President for UK and Europe Mimi Bekhechi
‘PETA is calling on Spanish authorities to put an end to this violent bull-burning festival and replace it with a new celebration that leaves animals in peace instead of in flames.’
The bulls often smash into walls in panicked attempts to flee the arena and shake off the fire mounted on their faces
The bull stands alone, caked in mud, as crowds watch on after the event on November 12, 2023
Last year, the bull collapsed in exhaustion after 48 minutes. Pictured: a bull after the event this November
The bull can finally close its eyes as the event comes to an end, nose bloodied, covered in mud and with scorched horns
For more information visit peta.org.uk.
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