Animal Legal Defense Fund calls for Cancellation of Unlawful Georgia Bull Run

Posted 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

bull-run-article-image-500pxATLANTA — 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.

85 thoughts on “Animal Legal Defense Fund calls for Cancellation of Unlawful Georgia Bull Run

  1. Sharon Rousseau says:

    Live in Atlanta, heard of this plan months ago, dismayed to see it’s upcoming. Thank you for TRYING to stop it, don’t hold your breath, GA. pours gas down rattlesnake holes for “roundups” every year. This is a cruel state. Hope ALDF prevails, we’ll call media & whoever else we can to protest.

  2. Irene Huskisson says:

    Do the right thing. Stop the murdering!

  3. Debbie Green says:

    Stop breaking laws. Remember who you work for.

  4. Elise says:

    Please don’t host a Running of the Bulls. The bulls are terrified & get injured. If that’s not motivating enough, think about the people who are hurt during these. Surely you can entertain yourselves without causing other pain and suffering!

    1. Jennifer White says:

      Amen! There are other was to entertain oneself. Or even better, go volunteer somewhere for a day. You’ll get more than you give.

  5. chrissy alberti says:

    Leave the Damn Animals ALONE!!!

  6. Cate Malone says:

    Unbelievable! I would hope that all Americans would understand how very wrong it is to treat animals this way and to put the public in so much danger. This is insane.

  7. Meghan Schuessler says:

    This is ridiculous, it’s 2013 people!!!!

  8. Linda says:

    There is nothing good about this, it does not teach anyone or our children how to do or make positive ways to make and entertain.

  9. Karin Giles says:

    This is not right. This is a barbaric and cruel practice. Please do the right thing and stop this event. You are putting people, animals, and property in danger. Bullfights and “Running of the Bull” events should never have existed, and they definitely should not be happening now in 2013.

  10. diana maiocco says:

    Why not have the Georgian officials participate in this? Otherwise this is a stupid and ridiculous idea. Are we a third world country? It seems like we are becoming one every day.

  11. Kelleem Farrell says:

    This event is dangerous for the people who participate and is cruel for the animals. It’s evil in Spain and even worse in the US where we have no “culture” of such abuse. Do the right thing and stop it.

  12. Natalie Jane says:

    Cruelty is not entertainment! Please cancel this event for the sake of the bull’s and the public’s safety.

  13. RS says:

    If someone gets hurt due to this ridiculous activity who do u think will get blamed? the poor animal!And then who do u think will get put down? What’s the point of this anyway?

  14. Lesha says:

    Please do not do this! There is no need or justified reason for it. Animal cruelty is the same as human cruelty. It is barbaric!

  15. Heidi Lintula says:

    Stop this nonsense before it even starts!!!!!!

  16. Elizabeth says:

    There is nothing right or humane about this. It is bad enough this occurs in other countries, but here in America, we need to teach others this is an ancient, inhumane practice. I urge you to cancel this event and take a stand against animal cruelty

  17. Steven says:

    Not. Cool. At all.

  18. Doris says:

    Running of the bulls is cruel and dangerous both for humans as well as animals. We want to raise children in a Society where we teach them Sports and entertaintment in a responsible and civilized way. This barbaric act is neither.

  19. Nicole Spadafora says:

    This is so cruel and inhumane. Please stop this event.

  20. Francesca says:

    Why would anyone want to reenact such a cruel thing? It’s a horrible tradition and many Spaniards want it banned. I am disgusted by this news.

  21. Britta Bollinger says:

    Please stop …this is not entertainment it is cruel .

  22. Georgia Michaelides Saad says:

    This kind of mindless cruelty should not be practised by people who like to call themselves human beings! It is an act of barbarism and it is disgusting !

  23. Lindsay says:


  24. Lexie says:

    This is not progress…putting people and animals in danger.

  25. Dalena says:

    Shame on you for wanting to do this to animals!


    this is absurd. you must cancel this event. it is assinine, and makes me ashamed to be a georgian. it’s dangerous, cruel and TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE AND UNNECESSARY.

  27. Heidi Rivera says:

    This is extremely inhumane and in no way a part of “culture.” The United States needs to lead by example in compassion for all animals.

  28. jim hughes says:

    whats the matter georgia? was dogfighting not sastifying your cruelty cravings?

  29. Pamela Geier says:

    This is a sick and disgusting IN-humane act. If you want to go running..Then RUN. You don’t need to chase an animal you jerks.

  30. Lisa Rapaport says:

    Please stop this event. It is cruel snd inhumane. Certainly there are plenty of other things to do besides abusing animals. How about helping some? Have a volunteer at a shelter or find a stray day instead. Please, its within your power to help these bulls. Thank you.

  31. Renee Mendola says:

    Please do not allow an event in which harm to humans and animals is somehow seen as entertaining. This is barbaric.

  32. Crystal Laws says:

    Yes, running of the bulls is asinine. Please grow up Georgia.
    Love N. Carolina

  33. Terry Bernstein says:

    Please cancel this event not is abuse y
    To the animals and mot fair to them or their owners.

  34. Julie Brown says:

    Ridiculous. Nothing better to spend money on in your state? If humans are stupid enough to do it, then they deserve what they get. The bull, unfortunately, has no choice!

  35. CR says:

    This is cruel and harmful. It demonstrates lack of judgment, ethics and empathy. There are countless smarter ways to entertain and exercise. It reflects badly on Georgia.

  36. Jeanette Brown says:

    I have boycotted Spain because of their treatment of animals. Leave these cruel outdated ideas in the past and the world will show respect for your decision. Our government here in England listened when people objected to fox hunting, these would be organisers should also listen to public opinion

  37. Isabel ttorres says:

    This is so stupid. Instead of fighting against animal cruelty, you are importing it !!! Spain has a sad history of animal abuse and torture. Please ,don’t copy this tradition, animals aren’t toys, and they don’t deserve human abuse

  38. Sue says:

    Perhaps a bull will “score” a human?

  39. Mamie Holst says:

    YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. How embarrassing that any state in the USA would even considering doing this. Time to boycott Georgia!

  40. Stacey Boyd says:

    stupid people

  41. Anne Cutler says:

    You can’t think of something intelligent to do that doesn’t involve animals, how sad.

  42. kathryn trevino steury says:

    Oh my! When I read this I thought it was a country in Europe, not in the United States! Are you kidding me! Really? Wow! How embarrassing for Atlanta.

  43. Stephanie says:

    Where is the petition?

  44. Kate King says:

    Hopefully no one will go, and if they do they deserve what they get. Rediculous world.

  45. Marcia Schloss says:

    Please stop this senseless running of the bulls. Terrible for the non-human animals and barbaric behavior of the human animals. Show some class Atlanta!

  46. Michele Carrion says:

    Please stop this event. The animals are stressed and can be injured, as can the human participants. Have some consideration for animals.

  47. Please cancel this stupid event

  48. Mary Hughes says:

    This cruel sport has no place in a civilised Society, I’m truly shocked this even being considered it’s shameful!

  49. PERRY JAqua says:

    Please stop! This is in humane and cruel. Let’s teach our children and communities kindness & compassion. Focus this energy on feeding the hungry and those in need to strengthen the values of our communities. The buck stops with each of us. Do the right thing.

  50. Gail Katz says:

    Animals are not for your entertainment. They have a right to life like you and me. You are barbaric allowing this to continue. Become civilized!

  51. Kim Cline says:

    I find it hard to understand in this day and supposedly more enlightened age why Georgia would consider this brutal and senseless event.

    In Spain protesters are trying to put an end to bull fighting which is shameful part of that country’s heritage.

    Why would Georgia want to start something that is dangerous for both human and animal participants when that beautiful state has so many other tourist options?

    Please consider cancelling this event which is dangerous and stressful to these animals who, unlike their human counterparts, had no choice whether of not to participate. Cruelty to animals is not entertainment.

    Thank you for your consideration

  52. Jennifer lebost says:

    Inhumanity is NEVER the way of the future! Please do NOT allow more cruelty to be legal in the United States!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. Jennifer Roth says:

    Please cancel this ludicrous event. It is not only unsafe but inhumane.

  54. Daniele Halle says:


  55. Evelyn Ford says:

    Please do not allow this archaic ,cruel act,it is not a sport.makes America looks like we are desperate to try to look like Spain and guess killing the bulls in bull fighting will be next

  56. Patrushka Pachenko says:

    Stop abusing and torturing innocent animals for your almighty dollar in the name of sick entertainment. And stop encouraging Americans to look even more stupid to the rest of the world. You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Dickens!!! You’re disgusting and pathetic!

  57. nancy komiega says:

    WTF, get on board. What are you thinking??????

  58. Andre de Looff says:

    Any life is precious! Humans have no right to destroy the rights of other life, just to get better from it! Especially domestic animals count on our PROTECTION! Not to be molested for “fun?” Awful and insane!

  59. Veronica Manoff says:

    It is a shame that this horrific act of torturing inocents beings for sport is allowed in the United states…. SHAME ON YOU !!!

  60. Ann Harlan says:

    This puts the “red” in redneck, as in the blood that will be spilled when someone gets hurt, animal or human. Stupid, inhumane, insensitive, but really just stupid.

  61. Kristi Thorpe says:

    Why do people think they have to torture animals to feel they accomplished something??

  62. Suzanne Bierer says:

    Please, pull yourselves into the 21st century where people make thoughtful decisions and all life is respected.

  63. Bonnie says:

    This has to be the MOST absurd thing I have ever heard of—only BAD things can happen here–to the animals that have NO CHOICE and to the idiots who want to play!

  64. margarita says:

    There truly must be other ways to prove your a manly.I know how about being an amazing husband and father.Not married.Try volunteering for any organization that helps other living beings on this planet.

  65. brandy simkins says:

    Please cancel the bull run- it’s barbaric, unneccessary and dangerous to humans and animals.

  66. angel thomason says:

    Please stop this event. The animals are stressed and can be injured. Please have some consideration for animals. they do not need to be treated this way.

  67. Karen Jones says:

    This is the email I just sent to Mayor Mills and Gary Black…please feel free to copy and paste and of course, change your name and address…emails to send to are… and

    Mr Black and Mayor Mills,

    On October 19, the Great Bull Run Company will host a “running of the bulls” event at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. As an animal lover and advocate and a Georgian for the past 34+ years, I am asking that the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the City of Conyers to cancel this inhumane, dangerous event.

    The Great Bull Run is a thrill seeking competition primarily geared toward what the Great Bull Run website refers to as “adrenaline junkies.” Although the Great Bull Run claims that the participating bulls will not be killed or mistreated, the event will be inherently stressful to bulls that are forced to run in hazardously close proximity to other bulls and thousands of humans in a narrow enclosure. Unlike human participants, the bulls cannot choose to sit out the Great Bull Run.

    Under the Animal Welfare Act, the Great Bull Run is required to obtain a United States Department of Agriculture license to ensure the safety of both humans and animals. But the Great Bull Run has NO such license. Georgia law requires the Great Bull Run to prove its bulls meet interstate veterinary care, vaccination, and general health requirements as a livestock exhibitor. We haven’t seen evidence that the Great Bull Run meets those requirements.

    If I may please ask you to exercise your authority to protect animal welfare and human health by canceling the Great Bull Run. The recent GA Dogfighting scandal has already put a big RED “X” on the State of Georgia. Please don’t add to this already existing shame.

    For the animals…

    Karen Jones

  68. sharon snow says:

    Disgraceful on all levels. SHAME on GEORGIA!

  69. This nonsense should not be brought here to our country. We have increasing numbers of animal abuse as it is in our country. It is so disgusting to think no one has any better things to do than watch animals and people get injured and killed by some type of nonsense. This is along the same lines of dog fighting and there will be people gambling to see who wins, etc. This should be outlawed completely.

  70. cyndie says:

    Thank you so much for caring. Because of your
    email to me, I did email both, GA AG DEPT, and the Mayor of Conyers, regarding the DISREPECT
    of this event towards animals. One day, they
    will be old and want some kind hearted person
    to take care of them who respects them for
    their inability to help themselves, I told
    them GOOD LUCK. THIS IS THE USA STILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. jprhedd says:

    As if Michael Vick was not embarrassing enough. We are soon to be the laughing stock of the USA.

  72. Sandy Rogers says:

    Barbaric. Its bad enough this happens in Spain. Dont bring it to America, Please.

  73. Sandy Rogers says:

    Bad enough this is in Spain, Please dont bring it to America. Thanks

  74. Anastasia Devaris says:

    What??????? This is going to happen in the United States? I thought we want other countrys to follow us, cause the U.S. is a leader, not a follower. Are some states wanting to live like they do in the 3rd world countrys? THEN MOVE OVER THERE AND DO YOUR BARBARIC ANIMAL ABUSE, NOT IN MY COUNTY. THE U.S.A. LAND OF THE FREE! Which means every living, flying, swimming, crawling, 2, 4, and even 3 legged (handicap) ANIMAL AND HUMAN. “THOU SHALT NOT KILL”, remember it and abide by the book.

  75. April Lamb says:

    Whoever let this get as far as it did ought to be more than ashamed of themselves. Like we already don’t have enough cruelty here in this country – someone had the “Bright” idea to follow the cruel traditions of Spain. ( And there are many there trying to stop this barbaric practice… ) Let’s see the list of those who stand to benefit by this event monetarily – so it can be published for the public to see. And – right on in boycotting Georgia – no more trips or vacations there & no more products or produce grown there should be purchased.

  76. Andrea Appel says:

    Very unfortunate that we have to exploit animals at every turn for our own sick pleasure not matter the harm it inflicts on these innocent creatures. Shameful.

  77. George Knyott says:

    I also live in Atlanta, GA resident for 22 years and I am disgusted that this event was even conceived let alone gien the green light to proceed. New low for GA and for the US…’s bullying ….bullying a poor frightened animal….disgusting and then parents wonder why their kids grow up with no empathy. ……A society is judged on how they treat their animals….Stop this insanity and animal cruelty.

  78. Loretta Dodd says:

    While Georgia is rightly known for its substantial positive contribution to our nation’s agricultural bounty and Georgians have every reason to be proud of this heritage and to perpetuate it, good conscience and common sense require that anything resembling either animal cruelty and/or disregard for public safety have no place in the present or future of our state. The Georgia Bull is barbaric, subjects the public to needless danger and should not be tolerated. Please put an end to this event — permanently.

  79. this is so disgusting. please put an end to this.why bully a poor scared animal. to enjoy this we have turned to a pain,murdering people..please stop this. what kind of world will this turn to in this next generation being taught to have no consience…………

  80. Sharon Johnson says:

    Stop the “Bull Run” it is an ignorant idea.”

  81. Barbara Fortier says:

    I have no sympathy for any humans getting hurt or killed. Stop the bull run! Stop the cruelty now!

  82. Brigitte St Jean says:

    I do not have any sympathy for humans that getting hurt or killed. Leave the animals alone and it will not happen. I pray that the bull get them. Cruelty like this need to be stopped.

  83. Jeanne Isenstein says:

    This is a miserable event – seeking thrills from cruelty. It’s bad for people; bad for animals.

  84. Karen Pasternak says:

    stop all of the forms of animal abuse!!! it’s not right! or fair…

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