Practical Issues > Animals for Entertainment > Racing


January 24, 2005
Flaming disgrace ... horse is forced over fire

A HORSE is engulfed in flames - in a sickening ritual in Spain for the patron saint of ANIMALS. The petrified beast has to be forced over the bonfire in Vilanova d'Alcolea, near Castellon. Horses are made to tackle fires lit throughout the village. Riders claim it purifies them after a blessing from a priest.

Barbaric ... Spanish ritual
    But the ordeal brought outrage last night. The World Society for the Protection of Animals said: "This is cruel and pointless.
    "The only thing being celebrated here is cruelty."

WRITE TO THE Spanish Embassy where you live in the USA

Sample letter:
Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen,
    The civilized world is appalled, outraged and horrified to learn of yet another barbaric Spanish "tradition" that causes extreme suffering to innocent animals. This pseudo "religious" ritual, carried out in the name of "purification", in which a frightened horse is forced over a bonfire in Vilanova d'Alcolea, near Castellon, can only be described as primitive and lacking in any humane concern for the animals involved. It represents a throw-back to the Dark Ages and a further demonstration of the ignorance and insensitivity still present today in Spanish customs in which animals are "sacrificed". One cannot help but be reminded of the fires of the Inquisition which also sought "purification".
    It is long past time for members of the Spanish government to take the lead in reviewing, passing and enforcing humane laws that ensure the protection and compassionate care of all animals. Until then, I will refuse to visit Spain or spend a dime on Spanish products and I will advise my friends and associates to do the same.



SpanishTourist Information, London


Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,