Maneka Gandhi to Obama: Stay Away From Cruel, Archaic Pamplona Bullfights

Indian Cabinet Minister Works to Ensure US President's Trip to Spain Excludes Violent Bull Run Festival

For Immediate Release:
July 1, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Pamplona, Spain – As US President Barack Obama prepares to visit Spain in July, Maneka Gandhi, Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, has written a letter in support of PETA affiliates’ request urging him not to attend the “Running of the Bulls” spectacle during the San Fermín festival in Pamplona.

Gandhi’s letter to President Obama can be found here.

In the letter, Gandhi notes that the 48 bulls used in the event are struck and terrorized as they slip, fall and injure themselves or human spectators on their way to a violent death in the bullring. She points out that bullfighting is an archaic display that has lost favour among Spaniards and has been banned in many parts of Spain and other countries.

“In your position of power, taking a stand for compassion for animals and against cruelty would have considerable influence”, writes Gandhi. “Won’t you please skip this barbaric event and speak out against such cruelty? This would surely be celebrated by kind people all over the globe.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – notes that more than 100 towns and cities across Spain, as well as the entire region of Catalonia, have introduced bans on bullfighting events. 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 weakened from blood loss. The matador then pierces the exhausted animal with a sword, and an executioner cuts his spinal cord. Many bulls are paralysed but still conscious as they are chained and 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