LIKE Anna Nicholas (Daily B Saturday) I am not a fan of the Bull Running in Pamplona however after many years of assimilation here I can appreciate a Spanish point of view. Anna refers to the “untimely death” of the bulls. She is incorrect. Without the Corrida nearly all the bulls would have been slaughtered like other male calves before reaching 6 months. Often 6 months of force feeding in confined space. Many Spanish would contrast this with the 4 or so years the toros are coddled before a grim last few minutes.

Last Thursday the PM's wife Sarah Brown refused veal on moral grounds at the G8 dinner in L'Aquila. Perhaps as a result of bull fighting in Spain veal is harder to find here than Italy. The PM's spouse might not have this dilemma at a G8 meal in Majorca where pork is regularly palmed off as veal.

Other recent charges of animal cruelty have led to protests over horse drawn carriages in Palma. They have decreased from 50 in 2006 to 30 in 2009 with more to be withdrawn. Many well intentioned animal lovers would like them banned completely. On the Playa de Palma we had numerous charming donkeys carrying earthenware pottery sold to tourists – they have all gone. The common driving factor was complaints over their working conditions. This did not lead to the building of shaded rest areas with fresh water troughs but to cat food cans via the knackers' yard.

Working animals are exactly that – working. On retirement they don't go to pleasant meadows to pass their last few years in tranquillity with their chums. They are butchered - and take the oxymoron “humane slaughter” with a pinch of snuff. They are crowded into transport, driven to an abattoir, starved of food and water for 24 hours to make their evisceration less messy, dragged into the execution area full of other animals in various stages of gutting, shot in the head with a bolt gun, followed by throat cutting to allow blood to be drained into a container (for boutifarron etc). The animal is then hamstringed to allow hanging by the ankles to have gravity help during the disembowelling and quartering. I do not apologise to meat eaters (like myself) for the unpleasant of the description. It is also an accurate representation of what happens to the animals “saved” by the welfare activists. What I cannot adequately convey is the terrified shrieking of the animals.

Many undirected complaints do not improve an animal's lot but instead bring about their premature death.

Mike Lillico

Playa de Palma


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