Plea to halt Bull in water run


AN animal rights activist has started a petition in a bid to persuade the Spanish authorities to halt Denia’s Bous a la Mar festival in which a bull is run into the sea.

Zoe Gumm believes the practice, where the bull is taunted into chasing spectators before running into the sea, is cruel and should be stopped.

“No animal deserves to be mistreated in the name of tradition. It begins with the bulls running down the main street but this isn’t normal behaviour and it’s only through fear that they run.


“In previous years bulls have suffered broken bones, heart attacks and even drowned. They get kicked, pulled down in the water and then dragged out with a rope. It’s not acceptable in this day and age.”

Ms Gumm is hoping the Spanish civic authorities will agree to an animal-friendly and child-friendly alternative and believes her option for the traditional event would benefit and not deprive the town of tourist income.

“I think Denia will benefit greatly. There is a huge wave of animal awareness taking place at the moment. More people are protesting against events that use animals.”

Her version, which takes place in Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, involves men in outsized inflatable bull suits running along the streets as children and parents run away.

Ms Gumm cites Valencia’s recent ban on setting light to the horns of bulls and a cut in the province’s funding for bull runs and bull fighting schools as evidence of a general shift away from such events. 

She is hoping to meet the town’s mayor in a bid to persuade the civic authorities to halt the traditional July festival.

Her petition can be found at






  1. What a wonderful idea! I have always disliked the bous a la mar and its great to see someone do something about it.

    I have signed the petition and will share it with my friends. Good luck Zoe

  2. Absolutely disgraceful treatment of innocent animals. Look at the terror in his eyes and the look of cruel glee on the faces of the humans. Says it all. Ban it, change it. Join the 21st century. Gracias Espana.

  3. I totally agree that that this whole animal cruelty thing has to stop now & that Spanish people should not derive any enjoyment from this pointless activity! The Spanish people should embrace other less inhumane pastimes & be passionate about their country without trying to be seen as say 4 “blood sport fanatics”!

  4. This is one of the things that I admire about you – you ‘go out there’ and do things that you believe in.

    It’s great that you have suggested a hilarious alternative without being condescending to the Spanish.

  5. I think this whole idea of using cruelty for entertainment purposes cannot be seen to acceptable in this day & age & surely a festival can be filled with say different cultures/music/comedy etc.

  6. Good luck! We got fox hunting banned here in the U.K. – no reason why Spain won’t ban bull sports one day. With some towns/cities there already banning it, and the changes in Spanish politics, I think these activities will be prohibitted in all of Spain eventually; hopefully, sooner rather than later.

  7. The Spanish rely tremendously on tourism, if the tourists that go to Spain that do not support this type of “entertainment???” surely they would need to change
    Change it, it’s completely wrong whichever way you look at. Support the alternative & vote with feet too!

  8. It never surprises me the cruelty of people it can be bad enough how they are treated at slaughter why torment them and put fear in them to fight back.Animals do not deserve this it has to stop

  9. I think this’ll be much better for the community and in the long term will make a healthier respect for animals the grow throughout the community. Having seen this first hand, I was very underwhelmed with the spectacle itself and when I realised he outcome of the bulls I believe that they shouldn’t have to go through the pain and suffering inflicted on them. I also think that the alternative suggestion provided will make a much I better impact and will hopefully make it so that the economic gain of the run will be the only aspect that we keep from the bull run.

  10. There really is no need for it in this day and age. Like Harjit said, fox hunting has been made illegal, and that was huge in the U.K. I really hope they see sense and put an end to this outdated, awful and unnecessary practice. Plus, who doesn’t like inflateables?!

  11. Muchos españoles odiamos estas horribles y salvajes fiestas! y pedimos ayuda a otros paises para obligar a los politicos españoles a eliminar la tauromaquia y sus fiestas derivadas! Many Spanish we hate these horrible and wild holidays! and we ask for help to other countries to force the Spanish politicians to eliminate the tauromachy and its derivative holidays! Thank you very much to you!!

  12. Well done for this article! I think that it is a great idea! The mis- treatment of these animals should finally stop!I wish you the very best with this!


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