05/07/09 "Speared Bulls" for the Rescue of Bulls

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Animal Friends in performance for bulls

Lying naked on the street and "bloodied" by the banderillas (barb-tipped wooden daggers) piercing their back, Animal Friends activists will protest against the cruel Running of the Bulls and the bullfights that take place in July during the weeklong San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain. The activists also want to point out the flaw in the Croatian Animal Protection Act.

The graphic demonstration is organized by Animal Friends and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and will be held on May 7 at 12 noon on the Republic of Croatia Square at Rijeka's Korzo.

Animal Friends wants to expose the naked truth about the cruelty of bullfighting in Pamplona and elsewhere. Electric prods and sharp sticks are used to rile the bulls into a frenzy before the Running of the Bulls. The bulls are tortured and slaughtered in the bullring afterward. Bullfighting takes place every day during the week-long festival. Before the bullfights even begin, bulls are often debilitated with tranquilisers and beatings. They are blinded by petroleum jelly, which is rubbed into their eyes. During the "fight," the bulls are speared in the shoulders with painful banderillas, which further weakens the animals through loss of blood.

The Spanish opposition to bullfighting is mounting. Seventy-two per cent of the Spaniards show no interest in bullfighting – which is the increase of 54 per cent in the 1980s. After the Barcelona City Council declared Barcelona an anti-bullfighting city in April 2004 in an effort to eventually ban this primitive and bloody "sport," other Spanish towns followed, including Torello, Calldetenes and Olot, which has the second-oldest bullring in Spain.

Croatia has also its bullfights, so called Bikijade, in Dalmatinska zagora which are represented as tradition. In this Bikijadas, according to the witnesses, owners often starve their bulls, water them with brandy or rub salt into their mouth and nose in order to make an animal more aggressive. Their horns are also sharpened so that animals can pierce more fiercely their opponent. Fights last around twenty seconds, rarely more than a minute, because one animal usually backs up already after the first locking horns. Tied to a tree, the bulls shiver after the fight for a long time, while their saliva constantly drools from great excitement and fear.

This kind of entertainment belongs to the Dark Age. Croatia, as a country which strives to belong to the group of countries that pay ever more attention to animal protection and rights, must immediately completely ban all animal fights, not just the bullfights. This kind of "entartainment" which incites animals against other animals is already banned in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while such acts are also banned by the Croatian Animal Protection Act.

After this demonstration Animal Friends will on the same day at 7 P.M. hold a lecture on animal rights in Molekula club, Delta 5/I, Rijeka as part of InterAkcijE Festival. From May 1-7 a photo gallery will be set up also in Molekula.

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