30 Women’s, Children’s, and Animal Organizations Call for Ban on Running of Bulls

Rapes and Cruelty to Animals Plague San Fermín as PETA U.K., Solace Women's Aid, Stand Together, NAPAC, and More Petition to End Violent, Sexist, Speciesist Festival

For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Pamplona, Spain – In a united front against the drunken violence, growing numbers of rapes and sexual assaults, and cruelty to animals that allegedly occurred this month at the San Fermín Running of the Bulls festival, 30 women’s, children’s, and animal organizations—representing more than 5 million members and supporters—have sent a letter to Mayor of Pamplona Joseba Asirón calling for an end to the event. The letter follows allegations of 11 sexual assaults, four rapes, and one attempted rape perpetrated against women, children, and men during the festival. Fifty-four bulls were struck and panicked as they were stampeded, slipping and sliding down the city’s narrow streets, only to end up in the bullring, where they were tormented, tortured, and killed.

The petitioners point to numerous studies showing a direct link between cruelty to animals and violence against humans and note that the “recklessness and cruelty inherent in bullfighting and bull runs can encourage a dangerous and lawless atmosphere in which the safety and lives of humans and animals are put at risk for the sake of depraved so-called ‘entertainment.'”

“Pamplona has become a hotbed of sexual violence fueled by bloodlust, and it needs to join the more than 100 Spanish towns that have banned bullfights and similar cruel events,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “There is a clear link between violence to women and cruelty to animals, which is why we are all asking Mayor Asirón to halt this violent and reckless spectacle.”

In a typical bullfight, as many as eight men taunt, beat, and stab a single bull with daggers and harpoon-like banderillas until he becomes weak from blood loss. The matador then thrusts a sword between the exhausted animal’s shoulder blades, and an executioner cuts his spinal cord. Many bulls are paralyzed but still conscious as they are dragged out of the arena.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind