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Enough cruelty

The images of a calf being fought and killed in the ring in the town of Valmojado have revived the debate about animal abuse

Un momento de la becerrada de Valmojado (Toledo), tomado del vídeo difundido por PACMA.
Un momento de la becerrada de Valmojado (Toledo), tomado del vídeo difundido por PACMA.

The recent diffusion of a bullfighting video in which a calf is seen being fought and killed in the ring, and which was recorded in Valmojado, Toledo, has once again shown the unjustifiable inertia that allows for these barbaric spectacles to continue to be held.

The response from the local authorities after the viral spread of the recording, which was released by animal rights political party PACMA, was immediate. As well as claiming that the recording had been manipulated, the council also tried to hide behind a well-worn bureaucratic excuse – that the becerrada, as these events involving young animals are known in Spain, had been held in compliance with strict legal requirements.

The lack of moral fiber of the people who applaud these anachronistic traditions is disturbing

In the video, the poor animal, which is not even two years old, is stabbed with banderillas. It stumbles to the ground over and over, and is seen bleeding profusely until its death. The lack of moral fiber of the people who continue to applaud these anachronistic traditions, which are based on the exhibition of an intolerable level of sadism, is disturbing.

There are more than 300 Spanish municipalities that hold becerradas each summer, but there are other cruel traditions that still pervade – the correbous, for example, which involves attaching sticks with flaming wax or fireworks to a bull’s horns.

The footage from the fiestas in Valmojado has only served to put an old question back on the table: do we want to continue to be a place where people can, albeit for just a few hours, bring out the worst of what they carry inside themselves? The most upsetting part of the video in which the calf is being tortured is hearing the laughter of a group of children who are watching.

How long will this go on for?

English version by Simon Hunter.

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