"I travelled from Sheffield to Spain to protest at bullfighting traditions which slaughter 60 bulls a year"

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A 32-year-old woman from Sheffield who flew out to Pamplona, Spain, to join a demonstration against the area’s infamous bullfighting sport has told how “tradition is never an excuse for cruelty”.

Tania Isabel, from Sheffield, gathered with other protesters in Pamplona’s Plaza Consistorial “bloodied” and shackled in medieval torture devices days ahead of the city’s annual fesitval of San Fermin.

The festival includes the infamous Running of the Bulls event, in which the animal rights charity PETA said 60 bulls will be “stabbed and slaughtered in front of jeering crowds”.

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Demonstators with PETA and AnimaNaturalis gathered in Pamplona to protest the annual 'Running of the Bulls'.Demonstators with PETA and AnimaNaturalis gathered in Pamplona to protest the annual 'Running of the Bulls'.
Demonstators with PETA and AnimaNaturalis gathered in Pamplona to protest the annual 'Running of the Bulls'. | PETA

“It was a really moving and emotional experience,” Tania told The Star. “[It was] really lovely that so many local people were present to offer support as well.”

Tania and other demonstrators from PETA and AnimaNaturalis walked part of the route that the bulls are forced to run before they are “violently” killed in the bullring. Tania continued: “There are a lot of tourists, especially British tourists, who go to run with the bulls but they do not know that those bulls are slaughtered too.

“It is literal torture for them. It is just completely wrong.”

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These bullfighting events kill tens of thousands of bulls around the world every year, according to PETA.

The charity said that during these events riders on horseback drive lances into a bull’s back and neck before others plunge banderillas into his back, inflicting acute pain whenever he turns his head and impairing his range of motion.

Eventually, when the bull becomes weak from blood loss, a matador appears and attempts to kill the animal by plunging a sword into his lungs or, if that fails, cutting his spinal cord with a knife. The bull may be paralysed but still conscious as his ears or tail are cut off and presented to the matador as a trophy and his body is dragged from the arena.

“I think [the protest] was impactful,” Tania added. “It was quite emotional. Tradition is never an excuse for cruelty. Spain has a vibrant country with lots of culture and we can celebrate it without killing these animals.”

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