Begining in February, and throughout March up until Easter day, a twisted and sadistic "festival" known as "Farra do Boi" (translated as "Festival of the Ox") takes place in Brazil.
During this festival, countless oxen throughout the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina are horrifically and methodically tortured—just for fun. In the days before Farra do Boi begins, the oxen are starved; food and water are placed just out of the animals' reach. The days-long festival begins when drunken villagers release the oxen and chase, punch, kick, and attack the animals with sticks, knives, whips, stones, bamboo lances, ropes, and anything else they can get their hands on.
The torture escalates as the festival drags on. Eyes are rubbed with hot pepper and then gouged out; limbs are broken and tails are snapped and hacked off; some are doused with gasoline and set aflame. The "lucky" animals escape into the sea and drown. Any oxen who survive the torment are eventually killed, their flesh divided among the participants. For more information regarding this festival, click here to read the Brazilian Wikipedia entry translated into English.
On June 3, 1997, the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil outlawed Farra do Boi. However, Santa Catarina officials have failed, year after year, to enforce this ban, and the cruel Farra do Boi events continue to this day. They only change that has been made is to the name in an apparent attempt to circumvent the law banning Farra do Boi. This horrific torture is now called Brincadeira do Boi, which translates to Ox Games
Please contact The Honorable Luiz Henrique da Silveira, the governor of Santa Catarina, as well as the Brazilian Embassy, and demand that municipal authorities stop this insanity. Remind them that citizens can easily celebrate events without torturing animals and that compassionate tourists will gladly forgo traveling to Brazil, and particularly to Santa Catarina, until the "Farra do Boi" butchery comes to an end.
Please send comments to:
Governador do Estado
Centro Administrativo do Governo
(48) 3221-3186 (tel.)
(48) 3221-3164 (fax)
Brazil's U.S. Embassy
(55-61) 3312-7000 (tel.)
(55-61) 3225-9136 (fax)