Petition against Fiesta Tolosa gathers 4 000 names

The festival sees round two bulls released per day in the streets (photo for illustration)

A petition against a festival involving the releasing of bulls in the streets of Toulouse (Occitanie) has gathered 4 000 signatures.

Created by Mélanie Joy, a resident of nearby town Fenouillet (Haute-Garonne), the petition is demanding an end to the practice of releasing bulls for the Fiesta Tolosa festival, which is next set to take place from July 6-8 2018.

“It is time to leave the bulls alone,” Joy explained to French news source France 3. “We must stop raising them, fattening them, and using them for entertainment.”

After reading about the festival, Joy initially looked for a petition to sign against the practice, but then asked herself, “Why don’t I start it myself?”.

However, the organisers of the festival are opposed to giving up the practice, which will see around two bulls released per day on 200 metres of streets running up to the Stade Ernest-Wallon.

“There is no torture of these animals, and they are not put to death,” explained Julien Roumagnac, president of the association Fiesta Tolosa, also speaking to France 3. “These animals will not be massacred.”

But Joy was not convinced, adding: “Even without death or injury, it’s traumatising for these animals to find themselves in the middle of hundreds of people.”

The petition comes just weeks after a number of protests from anti-bullfighting groups across France, including an incident early this month, in which a vegan activist jumped into a bullring during a live fight in Bayonne.

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