The annual San Fermin bull run is often dangerous, with panicked bulls chased through crowded streets, and was criticised by animal rights groups again this year, who damned the “tormenting and butchering” of bulls.
During the first two days of the festival, a 19-year-old Spaniard stopped breathing after being crushed in a large group of fallen runners, but has since recovered consciousness and begun breathing without assistance.
Two American men were also injured. A 20-year-old Utah university student was gored but is now in a stable condition after having his spleen removed and a 35-year-old American man was said to be recovering favourably from a “rectal perforation”.
Around 200 participants are injured each year, and the bull runs have claimed 15 lives since 1924, with the most recent death, that of a 62-year-old Spaniard, occurring in 2003.
Since most of the runners are men, it is rare for a woman to be injured.
The run sees six Miura bulls, which can weigh 695 kilograms, chased each morning and then killed by bullfighters in the evening, usually in a slow and torturous manner.
The League Against Cruel Sports, a charity, last week criticised British tour operators that sell packages to bullfights and San Fermin.
It blamed “lads magazines” for "sensationalising the event” and glossing over “the reality as to how the bull run ends”. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also urged travellers to stay away from the event.
Nearly 1,000 Telegraph Travel readers voted in our poll last week asking whether or not the running of the bulls should be banned. The majority thought yes, with 65 per cent saying it should be, as opposed to 35 per cent thinking the tradition should continue.
The San Fermin festival runs for one week and was made famous outside of Spain by Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises". It attracts thousands of foreign visitors who attend its all-night drinking parties, when red wine from Rioja and Navarra is consumed in great quantities in the streets.