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Bull’s eyes retina microscopic analysis

Carla Ibáñez Sanchis

Nereis - Universidad Catolica de Valencia


Bull's eyes are the main topic of this research but, in particular, the study of bull-on-fire and eyeball in these species.

In order to accomplish this study, a research on the eye damages caused by the “embolado” in these animals during popular festivities were conducted.

These are a festive activity, typical of many towns in Spain in which a bull that has burning balls of flammable material attached to its horns is set free in the streets at night, and participants dodge the bull when it comes close.

This activity is held in a number of Spanish towns during their local festival.

In the 21st century animal welfare activists have attempted to stop this practice as cruel.

Twenty six fighting bulls, which have suffered from this kind of activity over several years with an average of nine “emboladas” in each animal, have been taken as a sample.

A total of 52 bull's eyes were obtained immediately after being sacrificed in a slaughterhouse.

Subsequently, a macroscopical examination was accomplished, in particular, the external examination of the eyeball, the fluorescein test, the ultrasound and fundus assessment.

After that, a microscopic examination was carried out by analyzing the retina from histological sections. The results of the tests show that 9.6% of the studied eyes were damaged, which were mainly associated with handling problems.


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