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July 08, 2019 - The Vegan Authority

Animal cruelty on full display in Spain's 'Rapa das Bestas' festival

Animal cruelty on full display in Spain's 'Rapa das Bestas' festival
Credit: Sarah OliveFile Photo / © Photabulous!

For over 400 years now, over the first weekend of July, the small town of Sabucedo hosts the festival known as 'Rapa das Bestas' or The Capture of the Beasts.

It starts with young people from the local town and surrounding area heading up to the mountains in the early hours of the morning. Their task is to find and drive wild horses that live in the area out of their natural habitats and down into the town where they are wrestled to the ground, branded and their horsehair cut. This Spanish tradition of wrestling the semi-feral horses to the ground is intended to be seen as a test of strength and determination.

But the practice which dates back to the 15th century, has been labelled barbaric and cruel. Ricky Gervais for one called the practice "Absolute filth" on twitter this morning.

Image by: (CC BY)

Many were quick to agree with him, the Daily Mail reports, with one person writing: 'We took a very very wrong turn in our evolution at some point. This is disgusting.... 'Why does Spain love animal cruelty so much?' another questioned.

Animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lists 'Rapa das Bestas' in its '14 Worst 'Festivals' Still Taking Place Today'.

Meanwhile elsewhere in Spain this past weekend, the Running of the Bulls have saw bulls forced to run through the streets in San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, only to be killed the same afternoon in the ensuing Bull fight.


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