Regional government officials in Castilla y León have banned the village of Tordesillas from ‘celebrating’ its bloodthirsty bull-spearing spectacle, the Toro de la Vega unless the animal comes out of it alive.
The ‘festival’ was due to go ahead, as every year, on September 13, but when the town council applied for permission as it is required to do annually, this was denied.
According to the government of the centre-northern region, Tordesillas has not amended the rules of the ‘game’ to ensure the bull is not killed, meaning it is, by default, outlawed.
A recent change to regional legislation means bull-related spectacles outside of a designated and fixed bull-ring must not end with a kill, and the Toro de la Vega takes place in a field just outside the village.
The bull is surrounded by crowds who hurl lances at the animal, and when they have hit their target, the bull is left to bleed to death.
Given that the spectacle cannot go ahead in this format and spare the animal’s life at the same time, a permit has been refused for the first time ever.
The only way Tordesillas can proceed with the ‘festival’ is by changing the rules to ensure the bull survives, and presenting these to the court within a fortnight.
Otherwise, the mayor, socialist José Antonio González Ponceda, can appeal directly against the decision to a higher court within a month.
González Ponceda has always refused to scrap the Toro de la Vega – even when dozens of nationally-famous performing artists offered to stage an open-air festival in the village for free to replace any tourism lost through banning the cruel event.
But the mayor refused, saying the Toro de la Vega was not aimed at tourists – rather, at the villagers themselves, who have already staged counter-protests against the show’s being banned.