Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA Sue to Stop Dangerous and Illegal California Great Bull Runs

Posted on March 13, 2014

Animal Groups Warn of Ongoing Injuries, Cruelty during “Extreme Sporting” Events

For immediate release:


Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund


SAN FRANCISCO — Today, the national nonprofits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit against the Great Bull Run and the Lone Star Rodeo in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit aims to stop the Great Bull Run events currently scheduled in Northern and Southern California this summer—on June 21 at Temecula Downs Events Center in Riverside County, near Los Angeles, and July 26 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Northern California (a bull run was previously scheduled for Lake Elsinore, Calif. but was not permitted, out of concern for public health and safety). This case is the first lawsuit filed to stop the Great Bull Run, which has received widespread outcry across the United States. According to the lawsuit, these events violate California’s anti-cruelty law and Unfair Competition Law.

During the Great Bull Run, organizers send as many as three dozen panicked bulls, weighing nearly one ton each, barreling down a narrow track at up to thirty-five miles per hour, chasing fleeing runners—many of whom have been drinking alcohol. Not surprisingly, three previous Great Bull Run events have sent participants to the hospital. Furthermore, veterinary experts have concluded that the event causes unnecessary suffering and stress to the animals. “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 to the humans participating,” said Dr. Holly Cheever, veterinarian and vice president of the New York State Humane Association.

California’s Penal Code makes it unlawful to cause any bull to fight with a human or to subject any animal to needless suffering, which bull runs do. California also bans the promotion and exhibition of bulls in “bloodless bullfights” and similar events, which ALDF and PETA contend includes the Great Bull Run.  ALDF and PETA are asking the court to stop the events.

“Kind people around the world realize that it’s cruel to force panicked animals to careen through a track, trampling runners and potentially injuring themselves in the process,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “This event is unsafe, unsporting, and un-American—and, in the state of California, PETA contends it is also illegal.”

“These events show great disregard for animal welfare in pursuit of a cheap thrill and a profit,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “For the well-being of the bulls, as well as the safety of the public, we are asking the court to stop the Great Bull Run.”

ALDF and PETA are represented by in-house counsel and the law firm Evans & Page.

Copies of the complaint are available by request.

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit

Founded in 1980, PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters. PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, celebrity involvement, protest campaigns, and more to spread the message that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or to abuse in any other way. For more information, please visit

45 thoughts on “Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA Sue to Stop Dangerous and Illegal California Great Bull Runs

  1. Robin Chriss says:

    Stop the Bull Run! It is ridiculous, pointless, cruel, in humane and barbaric. Stop the Bull Run!

  2. lina konstantourou says:

    Stop the bull run!!!!!!

  3. Pam Scholl says:

    Poor animals thrown behind & around a bunch if screaming lunatics.. How us this fun? How is this entertainment? Pls stop this cruelty now!

  4. Alex clausen says:

    I’m not sure who would find this entertaining and frankly, I don’t want to know. Just stop.

  5. Lisa de leon says:

    Please stop this animal cruelty

  6. Brigitte St Jean says:

    People do not need this kind of entertainment endangering animals and people.

  7. Brigitte St Jean says:

    People do not need this kind of entertainment with endangering animals and people.

  8. Rodney Quiatchon says:

    Anyone who finds this form of animal abuse entertaining is completely and utterly abusive of other animals. This must STOP, right now!

  9. Ineke says:

    Stop this animal cruelty!

  10. Sheena Romahn says:

    All animal cruelty needs to be stopped. THIS needs to be stopped and stopped IMMEDIATELY!!! It is not clever, it is just downright cruel!!!

  11. M robinson says:

    Stop this sport forever!

  12. FS says:

    Leave the bulls out of it – they didn’t sign up for this stupidity and they choose not to participate. The people, on the other hand, can trample each other for all I care.

  13. Darlene davis says:

    cruel and not needed poor defensless bulls.

  14. Tina Iben Hansen says:

    We are in 2014 now……. Not 1420, we know better now. Leave the Bulls out of your “sport”.

  15. Ann Jardmark says:

    This is not right !

  16. Karen Opperman says:

    STOP The Great Bull Run!!!
    Its BARBARIC and CRUEL !!!

  17. barbara singh says:

    keep the animals away from those crazy people, i am sure GOD will send his angels to help the animals

  18. Pat Bruce says:

    The bulls have no say in this the people do , so the bulls should be protected , the people can fight each other instead

  19. Christine Husk says:

    Stop the bull run now! The organizers don’t care about people or animals, they only care about the money. If not stopped, then they’ll try to create a market for bullfights.
    Leave the animals alone!!!! Set up a boxing match or whatever turns you on since you like the sight of blood.

  20. Johanna Wittgenstein says:

    Not tradition. ABOMINATION!!!

  21. Ann Redpath says:

    The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way it’s animals are treated.

  22. dee ahlquist says:


  23. Renate says:

    stop the illegal
    bull run, it is madness and very cruel.

  24. Amy Squires says:

    This run serves no purpose other than to make money. Is money actually more important than safety and compassion?

  25. Tamara Forsee Bacon says:

    Breaks my heart all over again.

  26. Lynn J says:

    This is totally inhumane! Stop it now!

  27. Carol Miknenas says:

    This is ludicrous! Humans are so weak and pathetic at times! STOP this mindless, senseless cruelty enjoyed by jerks, idiots and empty people.

  28. Brian says:

    Keep the animals out of it and let the people do their own running for sport.
    No more animal cruelty!!

  29. Judith says:

    Why do we need this madness? Sounds like Spain with the running of the bulls. Stop it now.

  30. donna halstead says:

    Stop ALL animal abuse in whatever form! One may get away with such to an extent on this level but know that the next level of existence, one is called to account for one’s failings to help and protect all life be it human or animal or plant.

  31. donna halstead says:

    Stop ALL animal abuse in whatever form and to whatever animal! one may escape consequences on this level of existence, but in the next level, one will be called upon to account for one’s behavior towards fellow humans, animals and care of the planet.

  32. Linda Gibson says:

    And yet another way some people need to make animals suffer just to try to prove to themselves that they are tough and have total control over a defenseless animal. Wow, what total cowards!!! Please stop this horrible unnecessary suffering of innocent animals.

  33. Kimberly M says:

    STOP THE BULL RUN!! Breaks my Hear! Make no mistake this is not sport it is ABUSE! Utterly ridiculous and inhumane! Anyone who finds this to be Entertainment is barbaric and cruel! STOP THE BULL RUN!! STOP THE BULL RUN!! STOP THE BULL RUN!!

  34. Giuliana Rinaldo says:

    These types of animal exploitation’s, such as bull runs, stem from traditions when most people were uneducated, misinformed, and therefore insensitive to the welfare of animals. Now these ignorant people want to reintroduce bull runs in the United States while at the same time we are trying to stop these other countries, such as Spain, from the continued practice of these barbaric bull runs. Lets be progressive and humane with animals and leave them alone, there are so many other ways to make money where nobody gets harmed.

  35. Didi says:

    Entertain yourselves without involving an animal that you scare, stress out, and possible injury to all involved!

  36. Barb says:

    Stop the Bull Run!!! THIS IS DISGUSTING!!

  37. Mario says:

    Bring this to a screeching stop immediately.

  38. Evie says:

    “…, men, men, men….MANLY……men, men, men…..”

  39. Lantana Wade says:


  40. Tina Bullard says:


  41. Patty says:

    Only demented and money hungry people like to hurt animals and do it in front of people to show off their coward brazen stupidy that will kill and hurt animals and any of the people that consent to wanting to be chased due to excitement and stupidness. I am sure the bulls definitely would not want to do this for sick entertainment.

  42. Diane Hoyle says:

    This is truly BARBARIC. Its time we respected all GODS CREATURES

  43. Beth Doherty says:

    This is atrocious! It is cruel and inhumane and needs to end NOW!!!!!!!! This world is full of horrible people.

  44. J.E says:

    Nothing surprises me anymore but what makes me afraid is instead of becoming more intelligent people are becoming more evil,sick and callous.I just hope for more atrocitys that the human race become exstinct even when the innocent suffer maybe then they will realize they should have helped to support our animals,children and the earth.

  45. walter crump says:

    This event needlessly frightens and confuses animals for no justifiable reason so that bored idiots can get a cheap thrill and its organizers make a cheap buck. Please go to this link to sign a petition to stop this from happening.

    I have written Pleasanton Mayor Thorne and the City Council about this cruel event but neither seems to have the courage, compassion and/or time management skills to speak out against it, take a position or even advise me of their position. I also wrote every county supervisor and only Supervisor Valle’s office had the decency to respond.

    The condoning of this event marks a significant step backwards for our community from an environmental, animal welfare and humanity perspective. It also sets a terrible example for young people as to what constitutes a worthwhile activity, way to spend one’s time or how to treat animals.

    I always thought that the Bay Area region LED the rest of the country with respect to animal welfare and setting an example with respect to issues of humanity and compassion. Yet permitting this senseless event establishes that we no longer lead and have lost our way.

    Just as so many in Spain are trying to ban this sort of event from happening there, we are importing it? The Bay Area’s allowing this to happen is shameful, disgraceful and moronic. I can only imagine what other countries set on improving animal welfare think of us allowing this to happen.

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