Matadero rastro de cerdos en México

Sanfermines: the killing in the bullring

Iruña (Pamplona) // Spanish state // 2015 - 2016

Every year, on July the 7th, one of the most important bullfighting events all around the world takes place in Iruña (Pamplona). The tension between animal defenders on the one hand, and those who defend the totally unjust killing of tens of bulls and the abuse of other animals based on old customs on the other hand, grows bigger everytime.

Nonhuman animals, not bulls alone, are the victims of a form of discrimination known as speciesism, and bullfighting is but one of the many ways this domination system takes place.

Cows –the mothers and sisters of bulls–, hens, pigs, sheep(s) and other animals value their lives, and avoid, whenever possible, any situation that causes them pain or that puts their lives at risks. If we oppose bullfighting because we deem unnecessary to cause others to suffer, we should, under that same principle, oppose any other practice where any animal is oppressed against her or his will.

Supporters of bulfighting are right on one score: it’s a contradiction to demand the abolition of bullfighting while at the same time condemning millions of animals to a miserable life as a consequence of the consumption of meat, dairy products or eggs. Furthermore, this is something that weakens the idea of animal rights. For bullfight aficionados this claim is just a subterfuge the use with the purpose of keeping the killing of bulls legitimate, but for antispeciesist people this contradiction is something that must be fought in order to move towards Animal Liberation.

If we accept that causing unjustified harm to others is not something legitimate, the consequence that follows from this is that we should become vegan, that we should totally oppose the opression and slavery suffered by millions of animals, and that we should stop being part of their exploitation.

For all these reasons, this site is for the abolition of bullfighting from an Animal Liberation approach.

Crowd waiting for the bullfighters at the entrance of the horse yard

Crowd waiting for the bullfighters at the entrance of the horse yard.

Sebastián Castella puts on the “montera” (hat) minutes before entering the ring.

Sebastián Castella puts on the “montera” (hat) minutes before entering the ring.

A monosabio - assistant of the picador  ("lancer on horseback")  - introduces a ball in each ear of the horse to diminish his hearing capacity when facing the bull.

A monosabio - assistant of the picador  ("lancer on horseback")  - introduces a ball in each ear of the horse to diminish his hearing capacity when facing the bull.

The picador inserts the puya into the morrilo of the bull in order to bleed the bull and reduce its strength.

Tercio de varas (Third of rods). The picador  ("lancer on horseback")   inserts the puya (the goad) into the morrilo of the bull - the part located in the back of the neck - in order to bleed the bull and reduce its strength.

Pad used to protect horses.

Pad used to protect horses.

After the tercio de varas (third of rods) and the tercio of banderillas (“the third of banderillas”) the bull looses blood for several minutes.

After the tercio de varas (third of rods) and the tercio of banderillas (“the third of banderillas”) the bull looses blood for several minutes.

The presence of children in the horse yard - the place where the bull is dragged, dead or dying, to be bled in front of fans who congregate there - is quite common.

The presence of children in the horse yard - the place where the bull is dragged, dead or dying, to be bled in front of fans who congregate there - is quite common.

The bull begins to lose blood from the first third

The bull begins to lose blood from the first third, a few minutes after entering the square, with the puya (the goad)plunged in the morrillo (back of the neck). In a few minutes, just before his death, the bull will have lost between three and four litres of blood as a result of these initial wounds.

By the tercio de muerte the bull is exhausted, dejected and it is common to see him struggling to stay on his feet.

By the tercio de muerte (third of death) the bull is exhausted, dejected and it is common to see him struggling to stay on his feet.

The bullring of Iruña (Pamplona) crowded with people.

The bullring of Iruña (Pamplona) crowded with people.

After being killed, the bull is dragged by the mules to the horse yard.

After being killed, the bull is dragged by the mules to the horse yard.

In the horse yard the bull is hung upside down and bled

In the horse yard the bull is hung upside down and bled.

A bull hanged

As a result of a series of photographs published between the years 2014 and 2016, it is now forbidden to take photographs during this part of the process - having previously been allowed with some suspicion. The area is now concealed behind some red tarpaulins.

The bull is introduced into a truck to be taken to the slaughterhouse

The bull is introduced into a truck to be taken to the slaughterhouse. Their meat is usually sold and served in restaurants and butchers in the area.

Six bulls have died. The party continues.


Six bulls have died. The party continues.

Families go with their children to be photographed with the bullfighters.

Families go with their children to be photographed with the bullfighters.

NOTES

- Response to the chief surgeon of the Bayonne bullring by José Enrique Zaldívar Laguía (veterinarian, founding member and president of AVATMA).

«You say that the puya (the goad) causes a bull to lose 1 litre of blood, but studies carried out by bullfight veterinarians speak of 10-18% blood loss, according to the manner and place in which the rods have been placed. Mathematically speaking, the blood lost by a bull must therefore be between 3.8 and 6.8 litres.»

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