London – After receiving a letter from PETA about the cruelty of bullfighting, travel companies Thomas Cook and Brittany Ferries joined the list of British companies that have implemented policies against promoting the Running of the Bulls or bullfighting. In the letters, PETA pointed out that following the run – during which many bulls and spectators are injured – the animals are tormented and killed in bullfights. This year, several people were seriously hurt in Pamplona and a 16-year-old boy was gored to death during a bull run in northern Spain.
“In this day and age, it’s appalling that sensitive animals are still being tormented and killed in front of a screaming crowd”, says PETA campaign coordinator Kirsty Henderson. “We are delighted that a growing number of UK travel companies are taking the high road by refusing to support the cruel Running of the Bulls and bullfights.”
Bulls are commonly deprived of food and water for days prior to a “fight”, and before entering the ring, they can have the tips of their horns shaved off and petroleum jelly smeared into their eyes to blur their vision. Once in the ring, a bull is repeatedly stabbed by a variety of spears, spikes and daggers, causing tremendous pain and blood loss, until the matador finally drives a sword into the exhausted animal. Bullfighting has been on the decline for years, with attendance decreasing and bullrings closing in countries where it is still allowed, as more and more people put animal welfare first. Seventy-six per cent of Spaniards say that they have no interest in this barbaric ritual, and the industry survives only because of subsidies from Spanish and EU taxpayers.