Stop Forcing Horses To Run Through Fires - It's Terrifying And Cruel

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

No ritual or celebration is worth harming innocent horses with a senseless trial by fire.


Las Luminarias is an annual festival in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain. During the nighttime event, multiple huge bonfires are lit throughout the town. The smoke is thick and engulfing, and the embers naturally spark and sail into the air. Participants douse their horses with water, and then ride them directly through the raging flames of multiple bonfires.

Ironically, the tradition is supposed to purify the horse for the coming year, preventing illness or injury. But the flying embers singe fur and skin[1], fear and pain could easily cause a horse to misstep and come to harm, and inhaling the heavy smoke can damage their lungs.

Though the mayor of San Bartolome claims that the horses "don't suffer anything at all," their fear is obvious from the festival photographs[1]. Even if the horses make it through the festival physically unscathed, they experience intense terror when forced to jump through the flames. That terror is ignored as the rider steers the horse to the next fire[2].

Forcing a frightened animal to leap through the flames to "protect" them for the year is a ridiculous superstition and a cruel tradition. Tell the mayor of San Bartolome to end the use of real bonfires during Las Luminarias. If they must continue this tradition, stop terrorizing the horses and use symbolic fire instead.

Sign now to protect the health and welfare of innocent horses!

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The Petition:

To: Mayor Maria Jesus Martin Gomez:

The longstanding tradition of Las Luminarias is marred by the cruelty of riding horses through the bonfires lit throughout town. Horses are frightened by fire, and forcing them to leap through the flames is clear animal abuse.

These horses experience psychological trauma directly caused by forcing them to leap through raging bonfires. Las Luminarias needs to be changed to reflect modern times. A cruelty-free festival could easily be accomplished by simply using symbolic fire that doesn't frighten and singe the horses. I understand the festival has taken place for 500 years, but the world has progressed, and so should the town.

Forcing a horse who is fearful of fire to leap through it for a festival, and exposing their lungs to smoke inhalation and their skin to burns from flying embers, is unacceptable. No tradition is worth harming a fellow creature. Please make the right decision and protect the welfare of the horses in your town.

Your swift action is appreciated!

Sincerely,

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