In a horrific example of animal cruelty, a bull’s horns were set on fire during a Spanish festival.
The inaptly named “Toro de Jubilo” or “Joy of the Bull” is one of the most enjoyed cultural highlights for the residents in the village of Medinaceli, in the province of Soira, north east of Madrid, Spain.
However, for the bull, it is not at all an enjoyable event; instead it is downright cruel and terrifying.
Every year, a young bull is dragged into a ring and covered in mud (reportedly to protect it from burns). Makeshift wooden horns dipped in pitch — a highly flammable substance of turpentine and sulphur — are then tied around its head and then set ablaze. Embers and hot sparks from the burning torches on his head drips onto its body as the animal is set free and tortured for the blood-thirsty pleasure of the viewers.
This year it was the 3-year-old Mancheguito’s turn. In a nightmarish video released by animal rights group PACMA, the poor bull was wrestled into a ring, strapped with the torches and then let go. Mancheguito is seen thrashing around trying to dislodge the fiery ensemble from his head as men in gray uniforms torment it to prove their bravery during the “excruciating 13 minutes of torture.”
More than 1,500 viewers taunted the animals and rang loud bells adding to the terrified animal's confusion. After the bull had exhausted itself, it was taken out of the ring to be butchered. The men were each awarded a piece of meat from the bull for their “bravery.”
Doubly ironic is the fact that slaughtering a bull in a public place is illegal in the regions of Leon and Castile, no doubt to spare the “delicate sensibilities” of the people who although do not feel a shred of pity while the animal is being tormented, balk at the sight of blood.
Officials in the regions of Leon and Castile have designated the festival a “special culture status.”
Animal rights activists clashed with police in an attempt to stop the barbaric festivities and tied themselves with a chain in the middle of the bull ring. Some of them were arrested by the police while others were thrown out of the venue.
“The animal would probably have been blinded because of the fire burning its cornea as well as being injured because of its continuous head shaking as it tried to get the wood loose,” a PACMA statement said.
“Organizers decided to only allow access to people with invitations so even journalists were banned,” added PACMA. “But we still managed to get through and record the shocking scenes.”