With their long traditions of bullfighting and running bulls through the center of towns in annual festivals across the country, the Spanish have found more creative ways to hurt and torture those animals than any other people on the face of the planet.
Local animal welfare group and political party PACMA just released a compilation of videos showing people in a remote field in the Guadalajara province circling a bull with an assortment of vehicles like SUVs, ATVs, motorcycles and even on horseback.
WARNING: Video contains images that may upset viewers.
The people poke it with sharp lances and throw stones as the terrified animal runs around, ramming the cars and trying to escape. Eventually the exhausted animal is shot in the head and carted off by a tractor or bulldozer.
“Hundreds of vehicles that wouldn’t pass inspection because of their lamentable condition are used to harass the animal,” PACMA spokeswoman Silvia Barquero told Fox News Latino in Spanish via email.
She said that about 100 municipalities in Guadalajara in central Spain, hold these events every summer.
They are known as “encierros” – named after the tradition of running along with the animals to the bullfighting ring during festival days, as occurs most famously in Pamplona – but these encierros occur in empty fields and don’t have any connection to the tradition of bullfighting.
“Communities have been holding them for a decade, and they’ve become a genuine rally against the animals,” Barquero told FNL. “In the video images, you can see people … with a stick in one hand and a beer in the other.”
The encierros are not themselves illegal, but, The Mirror reported, under Spanish law people at such events aren’t allowed to take part if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“The Guardia Civil [police] are normally present,” Barquero told the U.K. paper, “but don’t appear to enforce the law.”
A police spokesman confirmed to The Mirror that there has been an increase of infractions at encierros recently, but denied that the events aren’t policed.
“It may appear that we are not doing much, but in fact we are noting anything that is wrong,” he said.
“These are infractions, not crimes strictly speaking, so we don’t intervene, but they are reported to the Interior Ministry’s local representative.”
Through the end of September, the newspaper reports, 294 infractions at encierros have been reported this year in Guadalajara alone – an increase of 44 percent for the same time period in 2015, which suggests that the number of these events has grown dramatically.
An Ipsos Moris poll earlier this year showed that only 19 percent of adults between 16 and 65 support bullfighting, as opposed to 58 percent who oppose it.
A PETA spokesperson in the U.S., Alicia Aguayo, told FNL via email, "Spectacles in which drivers hunt, attack and kill terrified bulls using rocks, swords and guns are dangerous to the community as well as to the terrified animals, as they show acceptance of a level of 'entertainment violence' that will likely manifest itself in other atrocities."