The bloody spectacle in Esquivias, some 21 miles south of Madrid, was held to honour the women of the city, fortunately it was poorly attended.
Carmen Ibarlucea, president of La Tortura No Es Cultura, rejected the tribute. “Tributes to women – as in this case, bullfighting – are a tradition to be extinguished,” she said.
“Exhibiting female minors exerting violence against animals is not a way of promoting equality, and it contravenes the protection of children that Spain has signed to defend.”
Distressing footage from the event shows the exhausted cow already pierced by four banderillas as the girl repeatedly tries to pierce him with a sword. The animal endures at least seven more stabs before he collapses.
Activists confirmed the girl was just 15 years old.
Since the footage emerged, Animal Guardians and La Tortura No Es Cultura (Torture Is Not Culture) has pleaded with authorities to take action.
The activists spokeswoman, Marta Esteban, said: “Allowing children to torture and kill animals, causing them such great suffering, especially as a public spectacle, is aberrant from the point of view of their physical and mental integrity. It eliminates their empathy towards others’ suffering, and opens the door to further violence – even if it’s only for entertainment.”
“This also nullifies the rights of the child to live in a violence-free environment.”
The latest outrage comes amid growing anger at the use of child matadors. A bullfighting school in Colmenar Viejo that trains youngsters to kill calves for entertainment has defied a mounting wave of outrage by having teenagers slaughter 24 of the animals in just four days. Presenting some of the younger children with ears carved from the dying animals as gruesome trophies.