Comedian Ricky Gervais has been branded fans of a bullfight festival in spain "evil, brain-dead c *** s" after a video emerged from a bull being taunted while his horns were on fire.

In the viral video, the animal is forced to run free with its horns ablaze as spectators jeered and taunted him.

The crowds, which included children, pulled the bull's tail and threw sand and plastic bottles.

It is believed the bull was later put down with a knife.

Ricky, star and writer of Netflix's After Life, tweeted the video: "Evil, braindead c *** s."

The comedian, well known for his staunch views of animal cruelty and welfare, recently shared footage of a lion being shot dead at close range and expressed his disgust.

The video of the bull was recorded by activists from two animal rights groups, Animal Guardians and La Tortura No Es Cultura (Torture Is Not Culture).

Ricky's tweet did not hold back

Toro Embolado, or Fire Bull. It takes place in the Vall d'Uixo in Spain and traditionally celebrates the end of the Muslim occupation of Spain in 1492.

Ricky's views, questioning the same about halal slaughter.

Halal is an Arabic word meaning "permissible", and often refers to the way animals are slaughtered for consumption.

Ricky hit back at critics, tweeting: "I've never criticized Halal, I've had many times." Now, please stop pretending to care about animals simply because you hate Muslims. Cheers. "

Vets say that bulls are terrified of the flames.

José Enrique Zaldívar, president of veterinary group AVATMA, said the taunting caused "disorientation, anxiety, fear and anguish" to the bulls even without the fire.

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And when their horns are lit, the bulls' distress grows far worse.

Zaldívar said: "Once the balls or torches are placed on their horns are lit, the presence of fire causes the animal to be terrified.

"Since it is instinctively identified as another danger sign, it increases its stress and anguish much more."

Activists are preparing to lodge a complaint with Castellón's regional government, which they say has been funding and lending financial aid to the event.