A Spanish animal rights activist was beaten with a live duck while filming an annual event known as a “duck chase”.
pain is something of a battleground for animal rights activists, who criticize traditional entertainment like bullfighting as abusive to the animals involved. One of the lesser known festival traditions is an annual event called the “duck chase”, which takes place in the Catalonian seaside town of Roses every August.
The event involves throwing live ducks into the Mediterranean, swimming after them, and bringing them back to shore. Animal rights activists say that even though the ducks aren’t killed, they can suffer serious injury and are needlessly frightened and put under duress for the sake of entertainment.
A member of Animal Rescue Espana, a Spanish animal rights group, was filming this year’s duck chase. While the camera rolled, he jeered at those participating. “Continue, continue. Continue to abuse, I am filming you,” he said, “a little bit of empathy for the animals. They also have a life, like your children or your family.”
These statements apparently drew the ire of the participating crowd. One woman took a duck by the legs and repeatedly lashed the cameraman with it. As the attack went on, other animal rights activists were heard shouting “You would not do that to your dog!” before they were removed by police.
The duck chase has been a tradition since 1918, but the mayor of Roses says he’s considering putting an end to the practice. He suggested “holding a referendum next year on what residents think, if they want to keep this festival, a tradition that will celebrate its centenary in two years.”
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