Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

The running of the bulls

Pamplona's Sanfermines festival is held annually between July 7 and 14. Though its most famous event is the encierro, or the running of the bulls, the festival comprises many other traditional events. The fiesta's fame grew with Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" and attracts thousands of foreign tourists every year.

Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

Two men seriously injured

Two Spanish men were in serious condition after being gored on Sunday, the fourth day of the running of the bulls. More than 1,000 participants packed the narrow cobblestoned streets of Pamplona's old town. The bulls came out strong from the starting gate and completed the 850-meter (2,800-foot) run within two and a half minutes.

Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

First fatality in over three decades

The Spanish bullfighter Victor Barrio was gored to death in front of horrified spectators at a corrida on Saturday, becoming the first matador to be killed in the ring in over three decades. Barrio, 29, was struck in the chest by the massive bull, who tossed him in the air before he fell to the ground. He was pronounced dead late Saturday by a surgeon at the Teruel bullring.

Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

Widespread reaction

The goring of Barrio was broadcast live on television, and news of his death brought widespread reaction, including from within the bullfighting sector and from well-known politicians. Participants at the running of the bulls on Sunday at the San Fermin festivities in Pamplona wore improvised black armbands in honor of the fallen matador.

Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

Giants and Big-heads

The streets of Pamplona are also home to the traditional Gigantes y Cabezudos (Giants and Big-heads). The giants are hollow figures, several meters tall, with painted paper heads and arms. The rest of the body is covered in cloth.

Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

Activists denounce the blood sport

Covered in fake blood, animal liberation activists demonstrate for the abolition of bull runs and bullfights. This demonstration took place on July 5, just before the start of the festival in Pamplona. Such events have come under fire in Spain. Several regions have enacted measures against bullfighting.

Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

Opposition gains momentum

Covered in fake blood, members of the AnimaNaturalis organization hold placards as they stage a protest against bullfighting in front of Valencia's city hall. This demonstration took place during the Fallas Festival on March 13.

Bullfighting: A cruel and dangerous spectator sport

Fifteen casualties since 1924

Ten people, including four Americans, were gored in the San Fermin festival last year. In all, 15 people have died from gorings in the festival since 1924.

A bullfighter was fatally gored in Spain, the first professional matador to be killed in the ring in over three decades. Bullfighting has come under fire in recent years by animal rights activists.