Bull run protest
Benitachell demo took place over bull's death in fiestas
ANIMAL lovers demanded an end to the “criminal” use of animals during fiestas after a bull died running through the streets of Benitachell last month.
On Friday, members of the Marina Alta branch of PACMA – a political party fighting for animal rights in Spain – gathered outside the town hall and laid a heart-shaped wreath in memory of the animal that died on July 31.
Watched by Mayor Josep Femenia and council colleagues, with police keeping a low profile, a 60-strong band of demonstrators used music, poetry and dance to make their point: 'Cruelty is not culture'.
There are a growing number of demonstrations against the use of animals in traditional celebrations along the coast involving bulls, just as people have started to question the legitimacy of traditional bull fighting in Spain.
Banners held aloft in Benitachell read ‘suffering for you’, ‘enough festivals with animals’, ‘this should not exist in the 21st Century’.
Demonstrators took turns to speak out calling for bulls, horses, donkeys, dogs and cats to enjoy better protection in Spain.
One demanded the council should be denounced for allowing an activity that caused the death of an animal. “There has been years and years and years of cruelty in Spain – the animals don’t enjoy it...they suffer; it’s horrible.”
Others said “there was a crime committed here in Benitachell”; “animals are forced to take part without any choice, in the heat without water”; and “fiestas should be about music and celebrations not cruelty and pain to animals”.
And another thanked the mayor for attending and listening to the 90 minute demonstration and witnessing the compassion of the animal lovers.
She said, “It is not one or two people here but a crowd who care about animals – and this was an innocent animal whose life was taken in this town, you have the power to do something about this.”
The protest ended with a flamenco dance acting out the death of a bull in the ring and poems underlining how bulls belonged in the forests and fields of the countryside.