Government of Cantabria, Council of Voto: Ban the festivity of “La Gata Negra”!

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[Versión en español aquí]

For more than three hours, a female cat is carried in a sort of procession preceded by a charanga band -with its trumpet and drum sounds-. When it reaches the end of the itinerary, and after a speech telling the events that happened in the last year, the animal is thrown to the public from a height of more than 2 meters (6’5 feet) in order to see which way it runs away. Welcome to the festivities of Carasa, in the municipality of Voto, Cantabria, Spain. 21st century.

The cat is carried by a donkey and escorted by hundreds of disguised people. It’s the Neighborhood Council of Carasa who puts this “event” together, in which once again animals are used for “amusement” in festivities. Luckily, after several reports by the ecologist association ARCA, the festivity has been “softened” -years ago, the feline was carried inside a sack and, once thrown to the people, it received several kicks in its escape, the ARCA association explains-. Today, the animal “only” has to put up with all that noise for three hours and a horde trying to catch it.

[Find a video of the event here]

Cats, from a veterinary point of view, for its ethological and behavioral characteristics, don’t adapt well to being handled by strangers or to abrupt changes of location. Besides, they are extremely sensitive to sound, and grating noises can cause them a great amount of stress.

Sign this petition to ask the Neighborhood Council of Carasa and its president Sheila Pérez Sisniega not to mistreat an animal in their festivities.

Several choices could be used as an alternative: a stuffed animal or a person disguised as a cat could be enough to keep the festivities, taking away the animal abuse.

We who signed the petition don’t understand that, in the 21st century, the suffering of a poor cat is considered a Festivity of Regional Touristic Interest. We also fail to understand why public moneys are being spent in abusing vulnerable animals.

Sign this petition to ask the authorities and groups involved not to use an animal in their festivities that will take place on August 16th.