ANIMAL WELFARE

Attack of animal rights activists caught on video at bullrunning

Four members of the same family alleged to have attacked two women who were recording events at a Tarragona fiesta

The assault last Friday of two animal rights activists.

A recording of a violent incident during a bull-running event last week in Mas de Barberans (Tarragona) has been released. The video shows members of the crowd who are in favor of bullfighting assaulting two female activists from an animal rights group. The women are seen being insulted, beaten and having their hair pulled. The video cameras that they were using to tape the event are then thrown to the ground and smashed.

The woman resist, but are quickly approached by more people, who begin to shake them, pull their hair, and finally, grab their video cameras

The rights group in question, AnimaNaturalis, has made the images of the incident public in a bid to spread awareness and to raise support for their cause.

The incident took place last Friday, during one of the events involving bulls that had been organized as part of the fiestas in Mas de Barberans, a small municipality in Tarragona. Shortly after the animal had been released, an individual is seen in the video approaching the activists, and trying to wrest their cameras away from them. The woman resist, but are quickly approached by more people, who begin to shake them, pull their hair, and finally, grab the video cameras and smashing them to the floor.

The victims were Aïda Gascón, who is 32 and is the president of AnimaNaturalis in Spain, and her colleague, Yasmina Moreno, 29. The pair have reported the incident to the authorities. The next day, the regional Mossos d’Esquadra Catalan police force arrested four people in connection with the incident. The suspects are three men and a woman, aged between 19 and 47 years old, and all members of the same family.

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The activists explained that they usually travel to such events in the area in order to record the activities involving bulls, with the purpose of ensuring that regulations involving the animals are observed. They were also planning on taping the toro embolado – when balls of flame are attached to the animal’s horns – that same night.

Several weeks ago AnimaNaturalis denounced the fact that its activists had been the object of persecution and harassment during a bull running in Aldover, a municipality close to Tortosa.

“The only way that this season of bull running will be calm is if suspects are given exemplary sentences,” said Aïda Gascón. “We have attended these fiestas for the last five years, with the sole purpose of supervising that taurine regulations are observed, and we had never before suffered this kind of violence ourselves. We hope that this ends here, but we will not stop documenting the correbous.”

English version by Simon Hunter.

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