The Festival Where Horses Jump The Illegal Big Cats of Instagram 1 day ago   04:24

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Every January, on the eve of the feast of Saint Anthony, the residents of San Bartolomé de Pinares, Spain ride their horses through bonfires on the streets of their village. According to local lore, the tradition dates back centuries and started as an attempt to purify farm animals during a time of disease. Now it continues as a roisterous festival known as Las Luminarias.

"We would give our lives for this celebration. Anyone of us here." Pedro Martín Muñoz, president of the Association for the Defense of the Luminarias, told VICE News. "To us, this is a magical night, both for the townspeople and the visitors."

Animal rights organizations have criticized the festival in past years for its treatment of the horses, but Martín Muñoz says they enjoy the night as much as the riders.

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Comments 148 Comments

Wander With Fatima
BLOODY SUPERSTITIOUS ILLITERATES ! This is animal cruelty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
daniel santiago
Opm
Bazooka Llama Productions
So it's a cruel thing that uneducated unscientific people to to cure a "plague" that no longer exists, EVENTHOUGH SMOKE CANT CURE DISEASES ANYWAY!!!
Sajid Tanwer
Now let’s try riding the horses naked!

It’ll be fun to see how pure it makes you feel then 😝
Justin Hiller
This comments is rides horses through fire.
Fer Andurray
hey porque no pasan mejor los dueños de los caballos sobre el fuego y no torturar mas a los pobres animales
John von Shepard
nice.
Lkhagwa Lkhagwadorj
what kind of inquisition is this ???
Alvaro Sanchez
I wanna see one of them run through fire lmao
Jr. Jr.
people are stupid with their crazy beliefs.
Matt
BETTER START LEARNING TO CODE VICE
Detallado
My millennial opinion and feelings > other nation's customs and traditions
Therefore I'll scream:
"ANIMAL ABUSE STOP THIS MADNESS NOW, CALL PETA, REPORTED FOR PROMOTING ANIMAL ABUSE" -every soyboy
Mare carrier
Acho que guapo, mi pais
Chelsea Martinez
Beautiful
Nurlinda F Sihotang
War horse training? It is common for military horses too.
ENXJ
Muy good Engleesh, Vice. You guyz hav de best teetle wraiters.
Rod Serling
LARGE GRAMMATICAL ERROR DETECTED. PIIIIIIIIISSSSED
Carr Rexx
My fellow Americans (lol) stop judging the world through our angelic eyes.
DSNCB919
I wouldnt be standing behind that horse like that
DjTrax78
Another "tradition" just as meaningless as bullfighting.... human stupidity at it's best!
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The Illegal Big Cats of Instagram The Festival Where Horses Jump 1 day ago   27:22

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Buying illegal wild animals in Kuwait is, as one local puts it, "as easy as acquiring a cupcake." Pets have long been used as status symbols the world over, but citizens of the Gulf take the prize when it comes to keeping the most exotic, controversial species—most commonly, "big cat" cubs.

International law governing Kuwait and other Gulf states forbids the import and sale of wild animals, yet the sight of supercars being driven around with a cheetah in the front seat is starting to become commonplace on Arab Instagram feeds.

Although there are legal ways to bring an animal into Kuwait, paying people off along the way is easier. Lion, cheetah, and tiger cubs are in the highest demand, fetching up to $15,000 each through black market agents. More often than not, the owners have little idea how to care for these creatures, which have no history of domestication and quickly become unmanageable—even lethal—once they're fully grown.

In Big Cats of the Gulf, VICE investigates the area's flourishing trade in animal trafficking and how it impacts the depleting wildcat populations of Central and East Africa. We gain exclusive access to Kuwait's biggest Instagram star of the big cat phenomenon and hear first-hand of the deadly consequences of the business—both for the animals and their owners.

Watch More on VICE:
An Inside Look at the Exotic Animal Trade: http://bit.ly/1LYOuzu
HBO Report on the Illicit Rhino-Horn Trade: http://bit.ly/1Cqvzav

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