EL VERGER in Alicante province has banned bull runs known as ‘els bous embolats’ which involve balls of flame being attached to the animal’s horns.

The bull is usually tied to a post and then teams of people prevent it from moving while a wooden frame with two spikes with balls of flammable material is attached to its horns.

These are then set alight and the rope is cut, setting the bull free to roam the streets.

Animal rights activists have denounced the practice mainly carried out in the Valencian Community and southern Catalunya.

Animalis Naturalis says several iron elements are put onto the horns tightened with screws which contain the balls with flammable material that ‘burns like a torch for a long time’.

The recently-elected Compromis mayor of El Verger, Basili Sartort, said that the practice ‘no longer represents the current value of treating animals’.

El Verger council has ordered that no more fireballs will be attached to bull horns, but that the traditional ‘bous al carrer’ runs will continue to be organised.

The decision follows five ‘bous embolats’ during the summer 2023 fiestas which had already been contracted before the new government team took office.

The council will explain its decision to event organisers to make sure everybody is aware of the ban.

There are inevitably accidents involving bulls and spectators alike, and earlier this year, a 73-year-old French woman was fatally gored in Beniarbeig.

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