Festival and Cultural Events
Throughout the world many traditional and cultural events are taking place involving animal cruelty. The mistreatment and cruelty is often part of the festival. Here are just a few examples of those types of festivals held every year.
South Africa celebrates the festival of Ukweshwama
This event is where young people gather to torment and slaughter a bull. They will remove the tongue and fill the bull’s mouth with dirt so it can’t breathe, then they take out the eyes and mutilate the genitals.
In Brazil they hold a festival called Farra Do Boi
Translated to mean fun with oxen, local people will chase terrified oxen which will result in torturing the animal. The oxen will be chased near the sea so if they aren’t caught and tortured they will drown before facing returning back to shore. Sadly, people believe they are treating satan how he deserves to be treated.
Toro de la Vega
This Spanish festival is cruel and bloody and takes place in the streets of Tordesillas, once illegal but now it’s been legalised since 1999. A bull is chased through the streets and people come armed with sharp lances to thrust into the animal. Whilst still alive the animal will have his testicles cut off and watched by families.
The Pero Palo festival in Spain
A donkey is dragged through the streets of the village of Villanueva de la Vera in Spain. During the event drunken loud crowds will kick, beat and crush the donkey.
This archaic attitude to traditions should be banished to the history books.
Hanging Spanish Galgos, tradition in Spain
Used by hunters in Spain the Galgo is a Spanish Greyhound. A tradition in Spain at the end of hunting season is for hunters to cause their dogs a slow death as they don’t wish to look after them after the season.
Sadly, this tradition is still very much alive and thousands of dogs can face these fates in Spain at the end of each hunting season. Tortuous methods are used on the dogs to kill them for example burning them alive, dragging them along with speed trucks, dropping the dogs down wells and beating the dogs to death.
In the Northwestern province of Zamora in Manganeses de la Polvorosa
Annual festivities called Chillerona is where a goat is thrown from the church bell tower.
Although the tradition uses a blanket to catch the goat, regardless, this event cuases extreme stress and is cruel.
Nowadays, in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, villagers throw a life-size replica of a goat from their bell tower. The sad truth is that in many other communities around Spain, animals continue to be brutally mistreated as part of traditional festivals.
Legislation in Spain continues to fail animal protection and small fines don’t contribute to stamping out the cruelty. Numerous animal rights organisations have contacted local councils and face a brick wall when it comes to breaking through the wall of tradition, often for the fear of losing votes. Where festivals inflict cruelty and death onto animals, local residents will collect donations to pay for financial sanctions.
Every year in November bull taunting occurs in Medinaceli Soria, crowds will tie a bull to a post and soak cloth with petrol around its horns and set it alight. After which the bull is released around the town to be beaten.
In Carpio del Toledo, an annual summer event decapitates geese. During this cruel spectacle horse riders will pull the head of a goose which is strung up. However, for the first time last year rubber geese were used for the first time.
In Norwest Madrid in a town callled Robledo de Chavela pigopns are stoned to death and forced into jars to celebrate Easter.
In Valencia, Sagunto, Valdes and Asturias ducks are released into the sea for people to race and capture them, all part of their ‘duck hunting’ tradition. The local council have now brought in a hired vet to oversee the event.
In the towns of Alosno, Huelva, Sant Bartolome de Pinares, donkeys, mules and horses are forced to walk over burning coals and jump over bonfires.
Such festivals and traditions are shameful and barbaric. There is a growing shared view by some Spaniards who are against archaic festivals and traditions which torture and kills animals and want to see these events abolished to the history books. Animal abuse cannot and will not be justified in the name of tradition and an increase of International pressure is needed.