Parliamentary question - P-5603/2009Parliamentary question

The Toro de Jubilo festivities in Medinaceli (Soria, Spain)

by Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)
to the Commission

The Toro de Jubilo is a traditional annual event held in the town of Medinaceli (Soria, Spain) in November. It involves dragging a bull into the town square and tying it to a mast with ropes, to immobilise its head and set fire to its horns by means of a contraption soaked in tar; a young man from the town then cuts the cords tying the animal to the mast, and the bull attempts to escape from the fire, thus suffering both unbelievable levels of stress and burns to its eyes and body: there are five bonfires burning on the square itself. The only protection the animal enjoys is a coating of clay. The bull has to endure this torture until the fire goes out, which can sometimes take an hour. Once the fire is extinguished, the animal is removed from the square. This event has been prohibited at various times, most recently from 1962 to 1977, in which latter year it was authorised once more. I know that traditions peculiar to the Member States are not the responsibility of the Commission, but in Spain there is a major debate around traditional festivities which include ill-treatment of animals, particularly bulls. The Spanish Royal Decree 145/1996 of 2 February, adopting the National Bullfighting Regulation, in implementation of Law 10/1991 of 4 April on administrative jurisdiction with regard to bullfights, lays down in its Article 91.5 that ‘the promoters and local authorities shall, when the festivities are taking place in public thoroughfares, draw up and adequately publish all measures required to guarantee the safety of individuals or property, with an absolute ban on conduct which involves the ill treatment and unjustified suffering of animals, and any infringement of the relevant laws shall be punished’. Nonetheless, the public authorities responsible for organising these events take no account of this legislation. Since Spain is an EU Member State, I am turning to the Commission.

What is the Commission's attitude to the holding of festivities such as the Toro de Jubilo?

In view of the fact that bulls come from stockbreeding holdings, and in the light of Commission Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on a Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006‑10 (COM(2006)0013 — OJ C 49, of 28 February 2006), does the Commission plan to establish some kind of ban for such events? Are there any plans to adopt a mechanism for penalising anyone who infringes such a ban?

OJ C 10 E, 14/01/2011