Madrid mascletá condemned by animal activists

Huge explosions and smoke at the mascletà Credit: Madrid City Council

On Sunday, February 18, the Madrid City Council held its first mascletá on the esplanade of the Puente del Rey, located in Madrid Río.

Noise and smoke are the main elements

The mascletà is best described as ‘noise fireworks’, where the most important factors are the rhythm of the explosions, the amount of noise made and the amount of smoke created during the day.

The event was held to promote Valencian culture as the mascletà in such an integral part of the culture there but, various environmental and animal rights organisations expressed their opposition to the event due to the expected negative impacts that this celebration would have.

Beatriz Sánchez , head of urban biodiversity at the NGO Seo/BirdLife, pointed out that the deafening noise caused by fireworks could cause suffering among the 128 species of birds detected in the Manzanares River area, as well as in the fauna of the nearby Casa de Campo and in the animals at the Zoo Aquarium.

Major protest in Madrid

Protest in Madrid against the mascletà
Credit: AnimaNaturalis

The group AnimaNaturalis called for a protest and a large number of people turned up in Madrid on Saturday February 17 to express their opposition to the mascletà although they were not campaigning against the concept, just the noise and the potential harm to wildlife and certain groups of humans.

The gentler side of the mascletà
Credit: Madrid City Council

The celebration did go ahead with plenty of loud noise and according to AnimaNaturalis, birds in particular suffered considerably.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page