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Bullfighting and Pamplona a throwback to Dark Ages

The goring of people who took part in this year's bull run in Pamplona is yet another reminder of the horrendous cruelty that is inflicted on animals in the name of tradition.

In addition to putting human lives at risk, this annual event causes immense trauma and suffering to the animals involved and culminates in their torture and killing for human amusement.

The swashbuckling image of the bullfight is belied by the stark, stomach-churning reality - before it even enters the ring, the bull is weakened by having Vaseline rubbed in its eyes and is beaten over the kidneys.

Then, as the supposedly heroic matador taunts the animal with his cape and prances around the ring like a ballet dancer, receiving applause for his movements and flourishes, men on horseback stab the bull with razor-sharp lances to further sap its strength and will to fight.

By the time the matador plunges his sword between the bull's already-bleeding shoulder blades, the animal is reduced to a confused, meandering hulk. The matador is cheered and has flowers thrown at him when he finally kills the tortured animal.

This is the same vile 'sport' that is subsidised via EU grants to the breeders of fighting bulls. Last year, a European Parliament motion calling for an end to the grants failed narrowly. This year, hopefully, the funding will cease.

It would also help if travel agents ended all promotion of the practice. Bullfighting and the Pamplona bull run are Dark Age relics - shameful and ugly stains on Europe's so-called 'civilisation'.


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