Tordesillas denied license to hold Toro de la Vega bull hunt this year

Regional authorities say town may run after the animal, but cannot kill it according to new regulations

Bull getting lanced at Toro de la Vega 2006.
Bull getting lanced at Toro de la Vega 2006.

The regional government of Castilla y León has refused to issue an authorization for the celebration of the Toro de la Vega fiesta, an open-air bull hunt with spears that takes place every month of September in the town of Tordesillas.

Following widespread protests across Spain over the way the animal is hunted down and speared to death, regional authorities passed a decree on June 19 stipulating that the bull may no longer be killed.

But the citizens of Tordesillas, who have been holding the hunt for hundreds of years, fiercely oppose this legal change. On June 20, the town filed a request to celebrate Toro de la Vega on September 13 in the traditional way.

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Local authorities now say they will appeal the regional decision denying their request. At the national elections last Sunday, many residents cast blank ballots as a form of protest.

Tordesillas is entitled to file a new request to hold Toro de la Vega, as long as the ban on killing the bull is respected. But local enthusiasts claim that this would void the entire celebration.

In recent years, the town has witnessed growing clashes between locals and animal right activists over the event.

English version by Susana Urra.


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