NGO Rises against 'Barbaric' Dog Spinning Ritual in Bulgarian Village

Society | February 23, 2012, Thursday // 13:53
Bulgaria: NGO Rises against 'Barbaric' Dog Spinning Ritual in Bulgarian Village After it was banned in 2005, the ritual was performed again on March 6, 2011. (pictured). Photo by Webcafe

The Bulgarian "Animal Rescue Sofia" NGO has announced it would organize a visit to Brodilovo, the southeastern Bulgarian village in which the controversial "dog spinning" ritual is practiced.

"Animal Rescue Sofia" has launched a Facebook campaign that gathers activists who aim at stopping the ritual. According to dnevnik.bg, this year's "dog spinning" has been planned for February 25, even though it has been banned by the Mayor of the Tsarevo municipality.

The activists are to meet at 8 am local time in Brodilovo on February 25. The organizers have called for all participants not to engage in conflicts.

"Let us show that we are civilized and not Barbaric," the organizers say.

"Animal Rescue Sofia" believes that local authorities are consistently negligent towards animal cruelty issues,

In dog spinning, which is practiced in Brodilovo, a southeastern Bulgarian village, at the beginning of March, a dog is suspended above water on a rope.

The dog is turned repeatedly in a given direction to wind the rope, then released so that it spins rapidly in the opposite direction as the rope unwinds, until the dog falls into the water. The locals claim that the dog is not supposed to be physically hurt.

This ancient ritual of pagan origin is performed in order to prevent rabies and is a part of the traditional Kukeri rituals.

Dog spinning – or trichane, as locals call it - is now practiced only in Brodilovo. In 2005, the foreign media found out about the tradition and the world was outraged by its cruelty. Bulgarian animal welfare organizations also stood firmly against it.

The ritual was considered dead until 2011 when the villagers renewed it, as they were frightened by the FMD outbreak in the region. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov officially condemned it as "barbaric."

Many of the folklore traditions of Southeastern Bulgaria dating back to pagan times are world-renowned for their uniqueness - such as the fire-dancing or nestinarstvo, which is practiced only in this region.

A video of the dog spinning - or trichane - ritual performed on March 6, 2011, in Brodilovo is available HERE

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Tags: animal cruelty, ritual, brodilovo, Boyko Borisov, dog, dog spinning, Tsarevo, Southeastern Bulgaria, fmd, foot-and-mouth disease
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