PAMPLONA, SPAINFollowing a series of brutal attacks, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero pledged Monday that he "will not rest until Spain is free of rampaging bulls."
"Bulls are ruthless animals that run our young men down in the streets without regard for guilt or innocence," Zapatero said. "Doggedly pursuing their agenda of destruction, they are deaf to pleas for mercy, and they care nothing about the suffering they cause as they rout and trample novillero, picador, and matador alike."
Zapatero said the government has no estimate of the number of bulls currently living in Spain, due to the animals' stealthy nature.
"The beasts hide in the nation's pastures, quietly ruminating over their vicious agendas," Zapatero said. "They often lie dormant for years, posing as innocent calves until they expose themselves as the brutes they are. Then, they attack in arenas, when the crowds are at their maximum capacity, in order to incite fear and shock among the citizenry."
"We can no longer sit and watch as the bulls gore our brave young men to death," Zapatero added. "To those who say this problem is too widespread for the Spanish government to tackle, I say 'Toro!'"
Zapatero has established a cabinet-level Department of Bovine Security and a color-coded system that will alert the general public to the likelihood of an animal rampage. A green flag waved by the president indicates a low risk of bull attack. Magenta and gold capes, when worn by footmen, peones, or capeadores, indicate an elevated threat level. A colorful ring of banderilla around the bull's neck indicates a high threat level. In the case of a severe threat, a red flag is waved, and a bull attack is imminent.
"We can't afford to lose the war on bulls," Zapatero said. "When bulls unleash their brand of chaos, they leave massive destruction in their paths, as the tragic events of July 7 in Pamplona have proven time and again for the last 400 years."
Some Spanish citizens allege that the government's efforts to stop bull attacks are creating anti-bovine sentiment among the citizenry, and several watchdog organizations have been created to protect the rights of cows.
"Violent bulls represent a small minority of all ruminants," Bovine Rights Now representative Adora Moreno said. "Most cows are docile herbivores with no desire to harm a living soul. They are productive members of society, providing us with milk, meat, and leather goods. They should be granted the same dignity we afford other species."
Zapatero said that, while some citizens expressed displeasure with the additional security checkpoints in public and private pastures across the nation, the precautions are "an unfortunate necessity in these troubled times."
The Spanish government has earmarked funds for 10,000 new matadors, as well as gates, pink stockings, and embroidered jackets.
"Our matadors wish to ensure the safety of the Spanish people and tourists alike," Zapatero said. "These bulls may gracefully dodge the swords and spears of justice, but our men will not back down. They shall engage the bulls with intricate goading, ritualized mockery, and the hypnotic waving of streamers. They will not stop posing in their sequined suits until every bull is removed from the arena, and every torero is free from fear of tossing, trampling, and goring."
Added Zapatero: "We are men. Under no condition will we accede to the whims of the bull."
Military officials have been careful to state that it could take years or even decades to eradicate the menace of the bulls. They plan to enlist the help of other nations in the fight, by recruiting bullfighting specialists from Mexico and Argentina.
"This will be a long, hard war, but we will win, through vigilance and determination," Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono said. "We will arm ourselves with the banderilla of readiness and muleta of vigilance. There will be no mercy for the bull. We will find them wherever they hide, and we will round them up and contain them in pens. Viva toreros and viva España!"