Dear Sir,
I HAVE read with interest the many letters of appeals for pet animal protection.
Over 60'000 animals a year are still getting the rough end of the stick by the Spanish people.
For example, in the second week of September, the Virgin of La Peña is honoured in Tordesillas near Valladolid. To celebrate Her day, people kill a bull with spears and cut off the testicles. The Virgin must feel really honoured with this sacrifice, as it has been repeated every year for centuries. The “show” is regulated by the City Council.
The bull is forced by the townspeople to run across a bridge, attacking the animal with spears; only when the animal crosses the river, mortal attacks are allowed. Before the bull crosses the bridge, people only attack to injure and/or pierce the bull. I have seen a photo that shows a bull (before it crosses the bridge) with two spears in it; one, deep in its shoulder, the other completely through its body behind its ribcage.
Only when the bull falls, is it killed; the testicles cut off and are paraded in the town square hanging on the end of a spear. And think of the crushed donkeys of the Pero Palo fiestas, Villanueva de la Vera and how about the goat paraded in streets, before being thrown from the church tower in Manganeses de la Polvorosa. Spare a moment to consider the chickens hung from a line and hand decapitated by horsemen in Nalda and consider the pigeons in clay pots stoned in Robledo de Chavela and don't forget the chickens buried to their necks and decapitated by blindfold villagers in Aduna.
The complete lack of morality as regards animals is part of the Spanish psyche; a brutal mixture of machismo and pagan blood worship.
All of the atrocities mentioned above are inflicted on “valuable farm animals” so it is not difficult to imagine where “useless” domestic animals figure in their minds! It is obvious that the current Spanish generation are either active or passive masochists who are condoned by law and social mores. We can only hope that the schools are teaching children to treat animals and the environment with respect. Until this new generation grows up, (hopefully exorcised from this blood lust voodooism), animal welfare activists face a difficult struggle and we, that have any conscience, should give them whatever support we can.
John Rule, Sol de Majorca


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