Animal Legal Defense Fund calls for Cancellation of Unlawful Georgia Bull RunPosted on October 10, 2013
Dangerous Event Violates State and Federal Laws, Triggers Outcry from Animal Advocates
For immediate release:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
ATLANTA — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent formal letters and a white paper to Georgia officials, calling for the prohibition of a “running of the bulls” event at the Georgia International Horse Park by the Great Bull Run Company. According to the letters, the event, scheduled to take place in Conyers, Georgia on October 19, 2013, violates state public health and safety requirements for interstate movement of livestock and violates federal rules against the dangerous exhibition of animals. The letters ask local officials to cancel the contest and void illegal city and county contracts with the Great Bull Run Company in the interest of public safety and animal welfare. An ALDF investigation into the matter revealed that the Company lacks the required permits to hold the event.
Modeled after the deadly bull runs in Pamplona, Spain, the Great Bull Run Company admits that serious and potentially fatal violence is part and parcel of the run. In a recent issue of The Atlantic, Great Bull Run owner Rob Dickens said that he expects broken bones and bloodshed to occur at the event. “People will get hurt,” he confessed. At a similar event in Virginia also sponsored by the Company, with bulls weighing up to 1,700 pounds, people were injured and hospitalized. Dickens insists the Georgia event will be safe—despite predicting violent injuries—and yet has not obtained the permits and licenses required by state and federal law for animal exhibition. Allowing the event will therefore violate interstate health and safety protections. If immediate steps are not taken to stop this event, ALDF will consider legal action.
“As a bovine veterinarian, I can confirm that this event is extremely stressful for the bulls and presents substantial risk of injury to them, as well as an enormous public safety risk,” said Dr. Holly Cheever, a renowned veterinarian and vice president of the New York State Humane Association. “There is no valid reason to endanger humans and bulls in this absurd tradition.”
“Endangering animals and people for profit is bull,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF. “This chaotic event poses an alarming threat to animal welfare and to public health. Local officials must act immediately to protect their citizens and shut down this cruel contest.”
Copies of ALDF’s letters and white paper are available by request.