A graphic video that shows a bull careening into a wooden post and killing itself after its horns were set ablaze at a recent festival in Spain has prompted global calls for a ban of the practice.
As dozens of onlookers watched, the bull was tied to a post and its horns set alight on Sunday at a “toro embolado” event in Valencia. The moment its binds were loosened, the animal ― visibly disoriented ― hurtled headfirst into the post. It appears to have died on impact.
According to local news reports, the bull had allegedly injured a man earlier on Sunday. It’s unclear if that incident was linked in any way to its later fate.
The gruesome clip, embedded below, went viral this week after it was shared online by the activist group Bulls Defenders United. Thousands worldwide have reacted to it in horror, with many critics repeating calls for Spain to ban its bull-themed festivals ― which often feature events like bullfighting, the “running of the bulls” and setting bulls’ horns on fire.
Bull-themed festivals are a centuries-old tradition in Spain and are still well-attended by locals and tourists alike. But as animal welfare concerns mount, the topic has become the subject of fierce debate in some parts of the country. Catalonia banned bullfighting in 2010, only to have the measure overturned in 2016 by a constitutional court, which called the practice a “common cultural heritage.”
On Monday, the Balearic Islands, an archipelago that includes the popular tourist destinations Majorca and Ibiza, specifically outlawed the killing or injury of bulls by matadors, Reuters reports. Animal welfare advocates hailed the new regulations as a “clever” way for the Balearic Islands to avoid interference from the constitutional court.
The following video is graphic and may be upsetting to viewers.