IT is not only the tourists and agriculture suffering from the heaviest prolonged period of rainfall in Spain’s history.
Now the bullfighting fraternity are worried that their animals might be a tad too skinny, sore-footed and achy, all because of the awful winter.
After two months of almost solid rain the waterlogged country estates where the fighting bulls are reared are not producing enough food.
On top of this the bulls’ hooves are swelling and softening. This is making their joints sensitive and sapping their mobility.
“You try it. Spend two months with your feet in water and see how they end up, even if you have your shoes on,” said Alfonso Vazquez, at Fuente Ymbro, in Cadiz.
Furthermore, bulls won’t eat wet feed pellets, and because of the chilly, inclement weather they spend more energy just keeping warm.
This means they will enter the ring this Spring a fair bit lighter than normal, making them less impressive and dangerous.
The bullfighting season starts this month and takes off next month at Valencia’s Las Fallas festival.
“Right now, we are worried,” said Vazquez. “As we get through the first bullfights of the season, we’ll see what state the animals are in and how they perform.”
Another owner Alvaro Nunez, said: “There is no denying we are afraid because the fans in Madrid and Valencia demand a lot in terms of the bull.”