The running of the bulls is coming to America
Despite protests from animal rights activists and campaigners, organizers in Texas are planning on bringing the controversial running of the bulls to the United States. Famed for the Pamplona “Running of the Bulls”, those who attempt to outpace the angry and often abused animals face potential injury and even death by jumping in front of the large animals. Now it’s on its way to Texas, Virginia, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
On August 24, the first of The Great Bull Run, around 5,000 participants are signed up to run in the inaugural run in Richmond, and numbers are increasing. The Georgia run is scheduled for October, and over 2,000 people have signed up thus far.
Rob Dickens, co-founder and chief operating officer of The Great Bull Run, expects that number to reach 5,000-7,000. Despite the high registration numbers, there are lots of people who are unhappy about this event coming to the United States, and for good reason.
Ann Chynoweth, senior director of The Humane Society of the United States’ End Animal Fighting & Cruelty Campaign told the Associated Press, “these events are a shameful example of cruelty for the sake of nothing more than entertainment and profit.
“These companies put the health and safety of both humans and animals at risk, without the required federal oversight.”
Dickens argued that The Great Bull Run in the States is different and safer than the Pamplona event. He said the organizers are “wholly committed to the health and safety of the animals we work with.”
He said that, unlike Spain, the bulls aren’t killed in bullfights; they aren’t deprived of food, water, or sunlight; and a veterinarian is on site during the event.
Safety precautions for the runners include larger running space, runners and bulls released in waves (for a “better opportunity to complete the course safely”), and adding nooks and crannies for runners to run in to get out of a bull’s way.