Bull-Running Is Back After COVID, and So Are the Deaths

3 men die in Spain within 24 hours from 'bous al carrer' events
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2022 7:47 AM CDT
3 Die From Spanish Bull Runs in 24-Hour Span
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Arpelayo)

COVID put off bous al carrer season in Spain for a few years, but bull runs are now back in full force. So are the fatal gorings and controversy. In the Valencia region alone this week, three men died within the same 24-hour period after taking part in bull-running festivals over the past couple of weeks, reports the BBC. In the town of Picassent, a 56-year-old died in a Valencia hospital nine days after such an event, during which he was tossed in the air by a bull and suffered severe brain trauma. Another hospitalized man, age 50, died after his lung was pierced during a bull run in Meliana, south of Valencia. Meanwhile, a 64-year-old French tourist lost his life after being gored in the town of Pedreguer.

Spain's most famous bull run, held in Pamplona earlier this month, saw multiple injuries this year after its own COVID hiatus; numbers being reported of those hurt range from six to nearly three dozen, though there were apparently no fatalities. Reuters notes that nearly 500 people have been injured in total in Spain this year, and animal rights advocates are once again stepping up to decry the practice they say is dangerous overall and cruel to the bulls, which often end up getting killed. The protesters want the bull runs banned. A point made by the BBC, however, may explain why that's probably not going to happen anytime soon: Bull-running season in Spain is a huge boost to the local economy in Valencia, bringing in more than $300 million and creating thousands of jobs in 2019, per a study. (More bulls stories.)

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