Online petition launched to stop Ohanes bull fiesta

A tradition of making ruminants pay homage to St Mark the Evangelist is under threat

Photos from the fiesta of San Marcos in Ohanes where the bulls are forced to "kiss" the Saint

By David Jackson

A centuries old tradition in the mountain village of Ohanes is under threat after an online petition to ban it went viral.

The tiny village has a tradition of having roped bulls led around the village during the fiesta on the Sunday closest to San Marcos day (April 25). At appropriate locations, the animals are forced to bow in front of an image of the Saint.

Cristina Goñi from Madrid witnessed this year’s procession and describes it as “glorifying ill-treatment of animals in blood and torture”. She has setup an online petition on which attracted almost 16,000 signatures in its first week.

In her petition she said: “The bulls are shoved, pushed against doors and walls by the entire village as they are forced towards the image of San Marcos, when they are forcibly made to touch the image with their snouts. The entire process is repeated over and over again, an extreme agony for the animals.”

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