The running of the bulls San Fermin festival, which has been branded as “barbaric” by many, is held in several different parts of Spain annually.
However, this year three men have already been killed by the bulls, who are often dazed and frightened when released from their crowded enclosures.
Two men in their 50s and a 64-year-old French tourist were fatally injured during the festival in the Valencia region.
Here’s everything you need to know about the event.
What is the history of the San Fermin running of the bulls festival and how did the tradition start?
The running of the bulls tradition is said to have started due to butchers bringing bulls in from the raches, with the bull minders shepherding the animals to the bullring or their pens.
The San Fermin festival website claims: “Often they would run ahead of the bulls to entice them forward. With the passing of time, the event became popular with the general public and the men began to run in front of the bulls instead of remaining behind the animals as the bull minders always do.”
The running of the bulls is one part of the San Fermin festival, with participants asking San Fermin for protection ahead of the event.
It was believed to date back to as early as the 13th century, with many claiming it was an essential activity for butchers at the time.
It is not known when the event became a spectator sport, or when the public began participating, but this is now commonplace in modern-day Spain despite many branding the event as inhumane.
Why do people protest against the running of the bulls?
There are protests held each year around Spain ahead of and during the running of the bulls festival.
This is because many believe the event is cruel and unfair to the animals, as well as being against the tradition of bullfighting, which typically follows the festival.
Chelsea Monroe, senior digital campaign officer for PETA, said: “Bullfighting is the long ritualised execution of bulls and many tourists who come to the bull runs don’t actually realise that the same bulls they’re running down a couple of streets with are later killed in the bullring that day.”
“They’re stabbed over and over again for 20 minutes until they’re dead. We want the tourists to know that their money is supporting this really cruel industry.”