'Bous a la mar' literally translates to 'bulls in the sea' and the poor animals are forced into the sea by those celebrating the festival on Spain's Mediterranean coast.
Spain has always been closely associated with bull festivals, but pictures from the recent 'Bous a la mar' show just how gruesome it actually is. Photos show crowds gathered at the festival taunting the bulls as they are forced to jump into the sea near Alicante, which is a popular Spanish tourist resort. 'Bous a la mar' literally translates to 'bulls in the sea' and the poor animals are forced into the sea by those celebrating the festival on Spain's Mediterranean coast, according to Daily Mail. The pictures taken are from a festival that is a part of the controversial festival which takes place during the first weekend in July every year.
Unstoppable force.— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 9, 2019
A bull jumps in the water during the traditional running of bulls "Bous a la mar" (Bull in the sea) at Denia's harbour near Alicante, Spain
📸 Jose Jordan pic.twitter.com/DgZageGnoZ
This festival comes right after a controversial festival in Pamplona, northern Spain that several animal rights activists are protesting against. The festival also saw at least 10 people injured. It takes place 400 miles north of Alicante and sees about dozens of bulls die every year. The centuries-old bullfighting tradition has been an ongoing battle for a very long time in Spain with a lot of people arguing that it's no less than animal cruelty, while others say that it's part of their culture.
BOUS A LA MAR. FIESTA MAYOR EN #DENIA— Antonianos (@AntonianosVal) July 9, 2019
Fiestas declaradas de Interés Turístico Nacional.
Un año más, las #FestesDénia2019 acogen un gran programa de actividades en honor a la Santísima Sangre. ¿Te lo vas a perder? @ayto_denia #festividad #SanAntonioAbad #Alicante #España #Mar pic.twitter.com/GEzWAHrlj2
The Canary Islands became the first region in Spain to pass a ban on the 'barbaric' tradition in 1991. Twenty years later, Catalonia followed suit. Several pro-bullfighting groups have been trying to fight against restrictions, getting the tradition protected under Unesco's cultural heritage list, but fights are still on the decline. There were 810 fights in 2008, but that number fell to just 369 last year.
🌊🐂 Pánico, golpes y peligro de ahogamiento. Así de crueles son los Bous a la Mar en #Dénia (Alicante), autorizados por el @ayto_denia @PSOE @SocialistesVal— PACMA (@PartidoPACMA) July 2, 2019
🤚 ¡Paremos esta crueldad! NO es una fiesta, es #MaltratoAnimal#MisiónAbolición #FiestasSinBous pic.twitter.com/NQg9MiZsee
Even humans are being injured in the fights. Reports show that a woman was gravely injured - her spine was gorged out- along with four others, on the second day of the running of the bulls festival. Several others were hospitalized with injuries as thousands took to the streets on the second bull run of this year's controversial event. For the race, six bulls from the Cebada Gago ranch (known for raising ferocious beasts) were surrounded by tame cattle for most of the 930-yard (850-metre) route to the bullring.
At least 5 people were injured during the opening bull run of this year's San Fermin festival in Spain.— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) July 8, 2019
The 9-day festival draws about 1 million visitors each year pic.twitter.com/mwkIowYUW5
Runners were left scrambling for their lives in a limited space close to the bulls' horns. The race is said to have lasted two minutes and 23 seconds. This comes after the news that five other people were left injured on the opening day of the festival. A spokesman for Pamplona's Hospital Complex initially said they only got one man with injuries, but later added that two more people were admitted with head injuries.
VIDEO: Two Americans, Spaniard gored in Spain's Pamplona bull run.— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 8, 2019
First bull run of the week-long San Fermin festival lasts three minutes - leaves five people injured https://t.co/AEvahgKlWZ pic.twitter.com/hvK17Y3uGx
The nine-day San Fermin fiesta, which kicked off Saturday at midday with the traditional 'chupinazo', sees around one million visitors annually. Each day, bulls are run every morning and killed in afternoon bullfights. Till date, sixteen people have been killed at the annual festival, which finishes on July 14. The most recent death was in 2009 when 27-year-old Daniel Jimeno, from Madrid, suffered an injury to his neck by a bull.
BULL RUN: Five people were hospitalized Sunday in the opening bull run at this year's San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, with new video showing several scary scenes in the streets today as the annual event continues . https://t.co/3U0olUSM27 pic.twitter.com/AeWtQhIr58— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) July 8, 2019
It is not just the locals that are injured, there are a lot of foreigners who are among them, too. There are between 200 to 300 people each year at the festival during the bull runs. On Saturday, the opening ceremony erupted with controversy after animal rights activists flooded the arena of one of the first bull fight's when a bull was speared to death. Footages of the festival have been shared over various social media platforms as well.