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Animal and Dog Cruelty in Spain

Story ID:9215
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various Spain
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For years and to the present, I can not believe or understand
why so many people of Spain endorse not only bull fights
but even cruelty to innocent animals in their religious
festivals. Yes, animal cruelty is found the world over, but
it is especially sad when it is connected to some religious

Whether this cruelty continues today I don't know, but I
do know that at some previous religious festivals- men would
ride on horseback to see who could lop off the heads of live
hanging geese.

I also read that they might even throw a live donkey off a
high building. How can cruel acts such as these be considered
religious? And surely, the God of creation could not approve
of such cruelty.

And then, for a very long time, many of us thought that if we
could travel to Spain on vacation -that a bull fight would be
a must see. I know now that if I ever had such an aspiration,
it was shortlived, because I began to realize just how cruel,
barbaric, and exploitive, they really are.

A fair fight between man and a bull? I don't think so. Maybe,
if they would not stick the bulls with barbed darts causing
them to lose blood and therefore strength, it may be closer
to a fairer fight.

And of course after the flourishes and fancy footwork of the
matador, the time comes for the fatal sword thrust which rarely
insured an instantaneous death to the countless innocent bulls
forced to fight in this arena of death against their will.

One time I was pretty shocked to read that even little children
were encouraged to "dart" young bulls, and these darts were made
by their nuns. I think the nuns missed the boat. They should
have been teaching their youth compassion instead.


This next cruel exploitation involves only one bull -but he would
face a horror which I think you will agree is even worse than
what the bulls faced in the ring with a matador.

At this "feast" called the "Toro Jubilo" held in Soria, Medinaceli,
Spain- balls of pitch are attached to the bull's horns and set
on fire. Released in the streets, he can do nothing but run
around in pain. In an attempt to douse the fire, he may smash
into walls. Sadly, these fiery balls can burn for hours and burn
the bull's horns, body, and eyes while the spectators cheer and
run around their victim. What kind of Christians do horrible
things like this?

I also could not help wondering where were the clergy? Where
was the Bishop? Where is the Pope? It seems to me that all are
complicit in doing nothing to stop this cruel orgy. However, they
may have tried and failed to convince these people of the cruelty
they were engaging in. Isn't mistreatment of animals a matter of

But before I continue with this next sick chapter of Spain's
cruelty to animals, please know THAT NOT EVERY SPANIARD
approves of animal cruelty, and that there are good people
in Spain trying to prevent it. God bless them and the people
of Catalonia, who have at last BANNED BULL FIGHTS in this
part of Spain.


Only now have I been made aware of how badly many greyhounds
were treated by their cruel owners in Spain- even though this
cruelty existed as early as 2004 and perhaps even earlier.

One of the sites I used must have been a collaborative effort
because I found no authorship. They wrote that though there are
enough Spaniards around who are cruel to their animals as to
give cause for genuine concern, there are those who care about
animal suffering and abuse.

One such Spanish organization called "yoquierogalgos" (I love
Greyhounds) highlights monstrous cruelty in Spain against
greyhounds, and their goal is to focus on and highlight the
problems of animal cruelty in Spain.

They sadly note that some 50.000 greyhounds are dumped every
year after the end of the greyhound racing season in January and
February. Then those dogs who have reached the racing life of
two years are just disposed of like rancid meat.

Even though at another more current site -mention is made that
greyhound racing is now outlawed in Spain, it probably continues
illegally among people who are not law-abiding or caring.


I had trouble with establishing any type of time line, but
Magicshine (a group which speaks for the greyhounds) said that
they were aware of a thousand greyhounds being sent to Spain
each year to be used for racing, coursing, and hunting. These
poor greyhounds will spend a miserable existence- kept in
filthy conditions without adequate food and water. Of course,
none of the basics of standard animal welfare will be accorded
them either.

It is estimated that these greyhounds are sent to Spain each year
mainly from Ireland. Having been bred for the UK racing industry,
those who don't make the grade are exported to Spain where they
will inevitably suffer a lingering and torturous death.

While there is a small minority of animal welfare charities in
Spain calling for changes for the terrible treatment of Greyhounds,
per this post, sadly they are failing to campaign effectively for
improving the lives of these poor dogs who they call 'galgos.'

Magicshine, the group revealing some of the abuses facing these
poor greyhounds notes:

They are kept hungry because the people who use them for hunting
believe they will be keener hunters. So they provide them only
with dirty water and stale bread. They are generally kept in
filthy, dark sheds or cells without bedding of any kind and are
left there for days until they are needed.

The greyhounds are forced to live with their own waste. When they
are no longer needed, they are likely to be left chained to a wall
to die or be kicked out to starve to death. It is not unusual to
see these poor dogs wandering onto main highways and dying under
the wheels of a vehicle. Maybe even this cruel death is preferable
to the one where owners prefer to kill them by hanging or fatal

Some of these poor greyhounds are used as bait for dog fighting
by a group of culprits belonging to a travelling community in Spain.
Those malnourished and frightened greyhounds -if rescued and brought
to a shelter for treatment of their infected wounds and fractures
are now even afraid of their rescuers. Can you blame them for
not being trustful of man who has so ill-treated them for so long?

Magicshine is hoping that readers will try to do something to save
greyhounds from being sent to Spain by making them aware of the dogs'
plight and suffering. They hope we will e-mail the Spanish government
re the ill treatment of these poor dogs. They also hope that in
protest, we will withdraw support of the Spanish economy until much
needed changes are made to stop the horrors these poor dogs experience
in a country where thusfar the government shows a pitiful lack of


At one of the related sites, a writer from the Chicago Tribune
reminded us at that the United States too has for years been guilty
of mistreating the greyhounds used in greyhound racing venues. Though
I had read that some states finally outlawed this cruelty, I am not
sure that all have. And certainly, anyone taking the time to look up
"Greyhound Racing in the US" will be ashamed to learn of the
mistreatment of these beautiful gentle dogs by us as well.