The treatment of bulls in bullfighting across Europe and in Latin America has long been a huge issue for animal advocates. But Mataelpino, just outside Madrid, are proving that you can still enjoy a cultural tradition by making a sizeable tweak to make it cruelty-free.

Jorge Lopesino:YouTube

Instead of running with panicked bulls through crowds to be brutally killed at the end of the day, the people at the Boloencierro festival run alongside epic Indiana Jones-esque inflatable ‘boulders’. This festival has been going for four years now and all ages are more than welcome to take part. Do watch this little clip – it looks like serious fun!

Madridiaro:YouTube

“Boloencierro is fun for all the family and a great alternative for the growing number of people who oppose bullfighting and bull runs,” said PETA in 2014. This new cruelty-free take of an old tradition is proof that the world can change to protect animals.

Its cruel counterpart, the Running of the Bulls (in Spanish, the Encierro), is a big part of the San Fermin festival. The bulls are run from outside the city into the bullring, where they are then weakened and eventually killed. It is thought that this very public form of animal abuse kills approximately 250,000 bulls every year, which is a tragic statistic.

Bullfighting is not just a horrible experience for the bulls. Every festival there are reports of horrific injuries for the runners, and professional bullfighter Victor Barrio was killed earlier this year after being gored earlier this year.

Thanks to the sterling work of different animal groups like PETA, World Animal Protection and PACMA, towns in Ecuador, Venezuela, France, Portugal, Colombia and Catalonia have declared themselves to be against bullfighting. The cogs are definitely moving, so there is hope yet that this cruel tradition can be changed for the better.

To read more about the commendable work of animal charities, read about World Animal Protection’s Sea Change campaign and Obama banning the slaughter of downer calves.

Images courtesy of Jorge Lopesino/YouTube

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