Animal lovers and bullfighting activists alike were horrified after viewing a video clip of a man dodging a charging bull while clinging to a small child. The incident was filmed in Casa da Ribeira near Santa Cruz on the Azores island of Terceira. The bullfighting is part of an annual festival in the village.

The Portuguese anti-bullfighting group Plataforma Basta de Touradas, shared the video on Facebook, while Basta, an anti-bullfighting association, has lodged a formal complaint with the Promotion and Protection of Children and Young Peoples’ Rights in Portugal.

Bullfighter with child in arms causes outrage

After the video was posted on Facebook by the anti-bullfighting group, people across social media were outraged over the footage. The child can be seen to be thrown around in the man’s grip, as he waves a cape at what appears to be a young, charging bull. Onlookers standing behind barriers appear to either be watching with disbelief or cheering on the event.

Yahoo! 7 News quotes The Sun newspaper as reporting that a formal complaint has been lodged by the Basta association against bullfighting with the National Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Children and Young Peoples’ Rights in Portugal. Basta also demands that the Azores authorities find out the identity of the bullfighter, who they believe to be the father of the small child.

‘Totally irresponsible’ actions by child’s father

The association describes the shocking incident in a statement as being totally irresponsible and clearly a violation of child protection legislation in Portugal, along with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Basta went on to write that Azores authorities must investigate the case.

That report also quotes The Sun as saying the shocking video clip appeared at around the same time as a new bill, aimed at banning bullfights in Portugal, only received 31 votes in the 230-seat parliament in Portugal.

Incident happened as Spain’s ‘Running of the Bulls’ event kicks off

In the Daily Mail’s report about the Azores incident, they noted it was filmed at around the same time as the “San Fermin” bull running festival started in Pamplona, Spain.

This year one person was gored by a bull and four others received injuries, while terrified bulls ran the streets of the city, with “daring” individuals running ahead of them.

One Spaniard was gored in his rear end by a bull and reportedly a 20-year-old Canadian visitor was among four injured and hospitalised in Pamplona. The Canadian was originally believed to be a second gore victim. However, hospital authorities confirmed he had suffered a leg injury but had not been gored by a bull.

Meanwhile, CNN has since reported that at least nine were injured during the "Running of the Bulls" festival.

While several cities and towns in Spain have outlawed the “sport” of bullfighting, and while Spanish anti-bullfighting activists protest against it, many believe it to be part of the “culture” of the country. In Portugal, they also kill the bull after the fight, but they do it out of the view of the audience.