It is shocking that in the modern world the barbaric sport of bullfighting is still considered “entertainment.”
Thankfully, many people no longer see it that way and as a result the industry is slowly dying. Yet worldwide approximately 250,000 bulls are killed every year in bullfights.
Last year, Madrid dealt a huge blow to the industry by ending the $66,000 subsidy that fueled a matador school, Marical Lalanda Academy.
More recently, Colombia moved to bring back bullfighting for the first time in four years, but thanks to massive protests it was decided that the sport may violate laws regarding the mistreatment of animals.
Unfortunately, even though the times are changing bullfighting still happens, and although most understand the suffering a bull endures in this cruel gladiatorial sport, many are unaware of what the horses go through.
Horses in bullfights are often older animals who are sold to the industry after serving their whole lives, either as racehorses or in other industries.
Although horses are given protective covering known as a “peto,” which resembles a poncho, it does little to guard them from being gored by bulls.
When the bullfight starts, horses are blindfolded and have their nose and ears stuffed with cotton and Vaseline to deprive them of their senses so that they cannot scream in fear when the bulls approach them, or when they suffer pain. So the public does not even realize when these animals suffer. To take the cruelty a step further, some horses even have their vocal cords removed or severed so they cannot cry out in fear or pain.
The following series of images shows a terrible moment in Valencia, Spain when a horse was seriously injured during a bullfight after he was gored by the rampaging animal.
As the bull charged, the matador tried to stab it in the back with a spear but the bull continued its run, dropped its head and hit it in the barrel. The matador tried to hang on to his horse as the animal fell onto his side. The horse reared up, and was struck a second and a third time by the bull which had to be lured away from the scene.
Even if his injuries were not life threatening, the horse was most likely destroyed or taken to the local abattoir, being of no further use.
Although bullfighting is considered to be part of tradition in many cultures, the fact that something has been done for hundreds of years says nothing about whether or not it is ethical.
Not only does bullfighting end tragically for bulls who are killed at the end of the fight, the horses in the industry are never given the opportunity to live the life of peace they deserve.
If 250,000 bulls are killed every year in bullfights, that means at least a quarter of a million horses are exposed to this dangerous and terrifying ordeal annually.
If all this appalls you, it is time to make your voice heard. Sign this petition to end the use of horses in bullfighting and share it so that others can learn about this little-known part of the industry.
One Green Planet; The Millenial Report; The India Times; The Daily Mail.
Images: Protesters, © India Today. Bullfight in Valencia, Spain, Splash News.