The suspension of Sanfermines 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and, therefore, this year’s Bull Fair, is a source of sadness for bullfighting fans, but it also has significant economic repercussions for the House of Mercy, owner of the plaza pamplonesa.
The suspension of the Bull Fair, has commented to EphJosé María Marco, president of the Bullfighting Commission of the Casa de Misericordia de Pamplona, from a health point of view “is absolutely logical and common sense”, although it continues to generate “sadness and frustration” among fans.
The San Fermín Fair, he recalled, is very important for Pamplona, ”because they are its festivals”, but, for the Casa de Misericordia, organizer of bullfighting celebrations, “it is a economic loss important in their budgets ».
Marco explained that one of the founding principles of the Casa de Misericordia de Pamplona is the maintenance of the nursing home, with the capacity to 550 people. By its very nature, the House establishes “as a priority and primary criterion” for the admission of residents their lack of financial resources.
This criterion, he said, “logically produces a structural budget deficit”, of two to three million euros per year, according to exercises, which is to be compensated with atypicals such as the Bull Fair or inheritances and donations. Generally, he pointed out, with the bullfighting fair you can compensate between one and two thirds of that structural deficit.
Negotiations with bullfighters
Marco pointed out that the Casa had started to negotiate with some bullfighters, but “they were just the typical contacts made at the beginning.” These contacts were brief, «because already in mid-March we realized that this was very serious, Fallas, Seville had already been suspended, Madrid was on the point and we saw that Pamplona did not come even remotelythereby suspending all negotiations. “
The ones that were in favor, with the reservation of place, were the cattle ranches, but there has not been a previous expense in that sense. “What there is is a profit layoff, for what stops winning, that is the problem », regretted Marco.
The president of the Bullfighting Club of Pamplona, José Mari Sevilla, has acknowledged that “as fans, it is sad and sad that they cannot attend either the Sanfermines or the Feria del Toro”.
“We are sad and sad, because it is our hobby to go to the bulls and we are deprived of it,” said the president of the Bullfighting Club, who has pointed out that, however, its members tend to travel to other Spanish fairs and to those in other towns in Navarra.
This year, “we saved andhe subscription of the Bull Fair, but it does not compensate us, we are fond of bullfighting and we like to go see the bullfights, “he added.
Seville has claimed to understand that the authorities, “in the situation we are in, choose to safeguard the interests of the entire population.”
The drama of the ranchers
But, beyond the Bull Fair, the suspension of bullfights this summer have some big victims: the ranchers. In Navarra, according to data from this past winter, there were almost 10,000 heads spread over 68 farms.
The president of the Cattle Association of Reses Bravas de Navarra, Victor Arriazu, commented in this regard that “the farms are very bad, because the situation today is that we do not know if there will be any celebration in Navarra” this summer.
Ranchers, he has reported, obtain 80% of their income from summer bullfights, in July, August and September. Last year, the Government of Navarra authorized 1,591 celebrations.
This situation affects bullfighting bull ranchers in Navarra, since, according to the regulations, when a bull turns six, it can no longer be fought. Therefore, Arriazu has indicated, «the bulls that are now five years old will no longer be able to fight and they have to go to the meat slaughterhouse; That is the last way out, when you have no other choice.
In Navarra, there are no age limits for wild cows used in popular festivities, but farmers are also sacrificing animals in the slaughterhouse. “We have the same expenses as in a normal year, feed, veterinary, machinery and, if you do not have income, the only solution is to cut expenses by killing animals to make a little cash, “Arriazu has acknowledged.
For the president of the association, “it is clear that the situation next year will not be the same as we were having these years. We are decapitalizing because we are killing animals at a price that is not that of its real value and next year we will have to do what we can “,
The Government of Navarra, to alleviate the situation of these ranchers, has approved aid worth 750.000 euros to offset the costs of feeding and maintaining the cattle. Aid will be up to 90 euros per head for all farms with more than 10 animals (cattle older than 8 months), both shoeing and non-shoeing.