Three men have died in 24 hours from wounds suffered during bull-running festivals in eastern Spain.
They had all taken part in the Valencia region’s traditional bull-runnung, when bulls charge through towns, often with people running ahead of them.
Animal rights groups have long complained of the dangers for the public as well as the animals.
They say 20 people have died in the region in the past eight years.
The three men who died had all been badly injured during events in the past two weeks.
In one of the incidents, in Picassent, south of the city of Valencia, a 56-year-old man who had been standing behind a block in the middle of street was tossed in the air by the bull and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He died on Tuesday in hospital in Valencia, nine days after the event.
A man, aged 50, also died in hospital after his lung was pierced by a bull in Meliana, north of Valencia.
A 64-year-old French visitor died on Monday from wounds he suffered in Pedreguer, further down the coast.
The mayor of Meliana said the bull was an animal and chance accidents of this type were a risk that people took.
Goring incidents have become a regular feature of bull-running in recent years.
Spain’s most famous festival, the San Fermin running of the bulls in Pamplona, saw 35 injuries this year. It was the first time it had been held in three years, because of the Covid pandemic.
Spain’s party for the animals (Pacma) repeated its call for the abolition of bull festivals, criticising the organisers of the three Valencia festivals for endangering the lives of residents and inflicting abuse on animals.
A 2019 study found that the bull-runnung season created more than 3,000 jobs and brought in €300 million with almost 10,000 events a year.