RICKY GERVAIS has hit out at footage from a Spanish festival showing men and women violently wrestling with semi-feral horses.
Over the first weekend of July, the small town of Sabucedo hosts the Rapa Das Bestas, with young people from the local town and surrounding area heading up to the mountains in the early hours of the morning.
They are tasked with finding and driving the wild horses that live in the area out of their natural habitats and down into the town.
Once in the town, three or more locals will attempt to imbalance the horse, wrestling it to the ground while one cuts the animal’s mane and tails while another inserts a microchip before the festivities begin.
A popular local attraction and rite of passage for the younger people of the region, while no ropes, sticks or other instruments are used in the rounding up and wrestling of the horses, the festival has drawn criticism.
A practice dating back to the 15th century, it has been labelled barbaric in some quarters with Gervais among those to hit out at the practice.
Taking to Twitter, the comedian shared a clip of several men and women wrestling the horses before forcibly cutting their hair.
Evidently unimpressed at their actions, Gervais captioned the clip: “absolute filth”.
Though one follower attempted to explain that the practice was designed to help the wild horses by removing any parasites that may be living in their hair, it fell on deaf ears.
They wrote: "Ok, I'll just try to explain this: it's not wrestling it's cutting the manes of wild horses, mending their wounds and removing lice and other parasites. After that they are freed again. It may seem Wild but horses are not hurt in any way, or at least that's not the aim."
Not everyone agreed, however, with another following stating: "Just when ye think you've seen the worst sh*** on this planet, via SM [social media], here's the latest contenders for c***s of the week!"
It came as part of a busy weekend for the After Life star, who also appeared on Twitter to voice his anger at the ongoing practice of bullfighting following another recent festival.