Target: President of the Government of Spain, Mariano Rajoy Brey
Goal: Outlaw the practice of horse wrestling in Spanish festivals.
Every July, a Spanish operation called Rapa das Bestas (translated as “shearing of the beasts”) takes place in Spain, whereby hundreds of men and women pit themselves against wild horses, wrestle the animals to the ground to assert bravery and dominance, shear their manes, and mark them bare handed. The ordeal is more than stressful for the hundreds of wild animals, many of whom have not experienced contact with humans before. Urge the Spanish Government and the President of Spain to find humane ways to celebrate Spanish tradition that does not involve terrifying these beautiful wild creatures. Horse wrestling carried out in such a manner should not be allowed.
The yearly process begins when the horses are released down a mountain in Sabucedo, in northern Spain, and let loose to run through the hills of the area while hundreds of participants chase after them. Young foals are separated from their protective mothers, and horse fights frequently break out in response to the traumatic situation. In addition to combating fellow horses, these animals struggle in vain to stay afoot when humans charge them in mass and pull them to the ground. Once captured, they are thrown to the floor and grabbed by the head, neck, and nose if they try to struggle, a usual result of the practice. They are then sheared and tagged amidst a chaotic environment.
Rapa das Bestas is a 400 year old tradition, and not one likely to disappear overnight. While cultural traditions are important, societies that grow more progressive are obligated to find ways of celebration that do not infringe on the wellness of sentient beings. Wild horses are unused to being handled, and it is certainly distressing for them to be chased and wrestled by hundreds of people in unfamiliar circumstances.
If tagging is necessary for reasons known to the Spanish people, then this can be done humanely and in as noninvasive a manner possible. The shearing of horses is merely a tradition, and one practiced at the expense of a wild horse’s well-being. Appeal to the President of Spain, Mariano Rajoy Brey, and urge him to help make the festival humane and stress-free for horses by outlawing wresting.
Dear President Mariano Rajoy Brey,
The celebrated tradition of Rapa das Bestas must be altered in order to comply with standards of humanity in today’s modern culture. It is beastlike that humans chase after hundreds of wild animals for sport and subject them to suffering and torment merely for pleasure. Wild horses are tagged and sheared at the hands of Spanish festival goers, and it is unreasonable that such a tradition should endure when there are alternative methods to celebration. If a horse must be tagged, it can be done humanely and in a noninvasive manner. There is no reason that these creatures should suffer trauma because due to “tradition.” In addition to the stress of being wrestled to the ground by humans, the close-quartered nature of the event forces these animals to rebel against another out of anxiety, inflicting bites and wounds.
I urge you to outlaw the invasive practice of horse wrestling and encourage the people of Spain to instead revere and respect wild animals. While they are not likely inflicting serious or long-term harm, such a practice does not display compassion and should be replaced with a humane alternative.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: WritingofRiding.com