The Bous a la Mar Dénia are once again the subject of controversy. AnimaNaturalis and CAS International have documented the alleged animal abuse that takes place during these bullfights that take place during the city's patron saint festivities.
The objective is “to portray the brutality with which animals are treated, in which dozens of people harass them, harass them insistently and incite them to fall into the sea. Sometimes they even hit them by taking shelter behind the protection bars, ”they say from AnimaNaturalis in a statement.
Until next Sunday Dénia will hold two daily sessions of Bous a la Mar
On this occasion, the festivities began on July 9 and will end next Sunday, July 17. In total, there will be 16 sessions in which a total of 96 cattle plus the halters will be released, sometimes starting in the streets and then in a semicircular square on the shore of the port, to try to get the bulls and cows to chase the fans until they fall into the Water.
Once they fall into the water, they are towed from boats to the port by means of ropes tied to their heads. They grab them by the horns as the cattle struggle and try to stay afloat. "Bulls and cows, like most mammals, know how to swim instinctively, but it is not their natural environment and they are not used to it, so stress, fear and anguish increase considerably," explains Aïda Gascón, director of AnimaNaturalis in Spain.
An alleged brutality that does not end in the Plaza de Dénia
In the Bous a la Mar, as in most celebrations with bulls in the Marina Alta, the animals are not killed, but are returned to the ranch. Something that, from the point of view of AnimaNaturalis and CAs International is even worse. “The animals are returned to their farms at the end of the show, and are used again and again in dozens of towns during the season. They are bulls and cows for hire, which are only sent to the slaughterhouse when they are no longer interesting for the show.
AnimaNaturalis and CAS International ensure that the Bous a la Mar de Dénia, Xàbia or Benicarló «they are a redoubt in Spain». "Similar parties in Les Cases d'Alcanar or l'Ampolla, in Catalonia, have stopped being held since 2016, when the Generalitat filed these municipalities after a complaint."