Nora Johnson – Pamplona’s bull run bust-up!

Photocredit Shuttersstock/imagestockdesign

What would the spectacular San Fermin festival (starting this week) be without the bulls?

That’s the question that’s sparked outrage among diehard fans of the world-famous event in Pamplona, known for its thrilling bull runs and fights.

The president of the local clubs has kick-started a fiery debate by suggesting scrapping the bulls altogether. Traditionalists fear it’d be the end of a centuries-old custom that inspired Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”.

Bullfighting’s popularity in Spain has long been on the, err, horns of a dilemma. Catalonia banned it in 2010, but the Spanish government declared it a “cultural heritage” in 2013. San Fermin and bullfighting in general stand at a crossroads. Tradition clashes with changing values, and the decline isn’t solely a result of animal rights activism. It’s a complex situation with a mix of politics, economics and a changing Spanish taste for thrills and spills.

Well, here’s my alternative San Fermin: corgis. Yes, corgis! Let the participants take part, pursued by dozens of small dogs. The sheer volume of barking (let alone the nipping at the ankles of runners) would add the necessary bit (or ‘bite’?) of danger!

I took my own dog to the vet last week. He picked Fido up and said, “Sorry, but I’m going to have to put him down.” I said, “WHY?” He said, “He’s too heavy.” Oops!

Nora Johnson’s 12 critically acclaimed psychological suspense crime thrillers, including the latest ‘The Couple across the Street’ (, all available online at Amazon etc. Profits to Cudeca cancer charity.       


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Written by

Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.


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