- Title: SPAIN: VILLAGERS ENACT ANNUAL 'JUMP OF THE GOAT'
- Date: 25th January 1997
- Summary: MANGANESES DE LA POLVOROSA, SPAIN (JANUARY 25, 1997) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV VILLAGE 0.05 2. CU SIGN WITH THE NAME OF THE VILLAGE 0.08 3. LV CROWD AND SINGERS IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH BELFRY (2 SHOTS) 0.17 4. SV WALKING THE GOAT 'MARCELA' TO THE BELFRY 0.29 5. LV/SV CROWD (2 SHOTS) 0.37 6. LV CROWD ARRANGING CANVAS 0.47 7. SV/LV GOAT SHOVED FROM BELFRY/ GOAT CAUGHT ON CANVAS BY CROWD (4 SHOTS) 1.32 8. SV DEMETRIO PRIETO, MAYOR OF VILLAGE SAYING: "WE THROW THE GOAT BECAUSE IT'S BETTER FOR THE ANIMAL...IT SUFFERS LESS AND SPENDS LESS TIME IN THE AIR. WE THINK IT'S BETTER THIS WAY RATHER THAN LOWERING IT DOWN." (SPANISH) 1.51 9. SLV/CU MARCELA THE GOAT (2 SHOTS) 1.59 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA4C4T0BWZTE1BAFBCIHA8WZCBA
- Location: MANGANESES DE LA POLVOROSA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Duration: 00:02:05
- Story Text: INTRO: Villagers have gathered in a small Spanish town to witness the annual ritual of flinging a goat from the top of a church in honour of a patron saint. Proponents argue that the animal suffers less when thrown from the belfry instead of being lowered down by a rope, as some animal activists had suggested.
Either way the whole village turns out to watch the spectacle.
Amid cheers and heckling, young villagers from a northern Spanish village paraded Marcela the goat through the village before marching her to the top of the church tower to enact the "Jump of the Goat" at their annual fiesta on Saturday (January 25).
Hundreds of people poured into the central square to take part in the revelry and witness the gruesome ritual.
However, the goat emerged better off than some of her predecessors and survived the fall, caught in a canvas sheet held open by villagers at the bottom.
The event was officially banned in 1992, but villagers reacted so violently when police attempted to stop the ceremony that the village mayor was forced to rethink the ban.
Activists succeeded in taming the actual "jump" when the goat was lowered by rope part of the drop. But today the villagers carried on undeterred when they returned to their original custom of a 15-meter (50-foot) freefall.
"We throw the goat because it's better for the animal...it suffers less and spends less time in the air. We think it's better this way rather than lowering it down," said Mayor Demetrio Prieto.
Animal rights activists present in years past were absent this year.
The local priest said the ceremony dates back to the 19th century. But throwing live goats only started 15 years ago. Until 1985 locals threw a stuffed goatskin but then decided to use live nanny goats.
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- Embargoed:9th February 1997 12:00
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