Showdown with Animal Advocates over Texas Bull Run

Posted on December 3, 2013

Dangerous and Illegal “Mass Gathering” Bullies Animals, Puts Public in Harm’s Way

For immediate release:


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

bull-run-article-image-500pxHOUSTON — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) called on Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia to prohibit a “running of the bulls” event scheduled for this Saturday, December 7, at the Royal Purple Raceway. According to a letter sent to Judge Sylvia by ALDF, the Great Bull Run violates section 751.003 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which prohibits mass gatherings without a permit. The Chambers County court admits the Great Bull Run Company has not even bothered to apply for such a permit.

Deadly bull runs in Pamplona, Spain, inspired this weekend’s Great Bull Run, which entails serious risk of injury to humans and animals. Two dozen aggressive bulls—each weighing as much as 1,700 pounds—will barrel down a track after a mass of fleeing runners, many of whom have been drinking alcohol. Predictably, past Great Bull Run events have resulted in serious injuries: in Virginia, two participants were taken to the hospital with concussions; in Georgia, one participant broke his pelvis in three places. Great Bull Run owner Rob Dickens said he expects “broken bones and bloodshed” and confessed that “people will get hurt.” Safety concerns recently led the city manager of Lake Elsinore, California to deny a permit for the Great Bull Run planned in March 2014, recognizing that “this event invited inexperienced, untrained and unprotected participants to take part in what could be a dangerous and unpredictable activity.”

The Texas Mass Gatherings Act makes it unlawful for anyone to promote a mass gathering without a permit—a requirement intended to ensure public safety and adequate planning when thousands of people gather in one place. According to promotional materials, the Great Bull Run Company expects to draw thousands of thrill-seekers” this weekend to “this massive day-long festival.” This violation of state law constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to ninety days in county jail, or both. ALDF’s letter asks local officials to cancel the Great Bull Run Company’s event in the interest of public safety and animal welfare.

“We call bull on this ‘sport.’ It is both dangerous to the public and antagonistic to innocent animals,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF. “Chambers County is obligated to put a stop to this cruel and illegal mass gathering.”

Copies of ALDF’s letter are available by request.

72 thoughts on “Showdown with Animal Advocates over Texas Bull Run

  1. Jill Hammer says:


  2. Deborah Woods says:

    In Pamplona this is a stupid and dangerous idea. Here in the States, it’s stupid, dangerous & irresponsible. How about having respect for the animals and dumbass humans involved in this really dumb idea? Stop this brand of insanity. There’s enough insanity that needs to cease.

  3. Carolyn Grimaldi says:

    It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. And someone WILL get hurt, then you’ve got a lawsuit on your hands…rightfully so if you continue this barbaric act.

  4. Tracey Arp says:

    Please do not let this “event” take place. Do we really want more more atrocity against animals on our hands?

  5. Lisa Martino says:

    Please consider the message this event sends about your community and put a stop to it. There is no place for this in a modern, civilized, evolved and compassionate community. Any support of this defines you otherwise.

  6. Tracey Arp says:

    Please do not let this “event” take place. Do we really want one more atrocity against animals on our hands?

  7. Lauren Smith says:

    I urge you to please stop this display of foolishness in your city.
    Drunk and intoxicated people antagonizing animals not to mention making poor decisions and risking injuries to themselves and others.
    Texas, please show socially responsible behavior especially in this day and age!

    Lauren Smith

  8. Susan Adams says:

    Texas is sending the wrong message by allowing this. Totally inhumane for the animals involved and speaks rather low of the people of Texas.

  9. Ferne Harasimiw says:

    Thi s is 2013. We now look after animals and fight those who abuse them. We cannot look away from a bull run. They are hurt, sometimes drugged and would not stampede without these torturous things occuring. Please help our modern society say no to animal abuse! Thank you.

  10. JB Maberry says:

    It’s completely irresponsible, placing not only the people who opt to participate, but the animals as well. I feel no sympathy for anyone who partakes in such a foolish event and would be injured, but the animals are forced into it. There’s simply nothing that can justify such an event, and ignorance and total disregard for animal welfare is not acceptable.

  11. Ann-Christin Hval says:

    Mahatma Gandhi once said: “ The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

  12. diana maiocco says:

    Are we becoming a third world country? Another bullet point which confirms “yes” if you allow this stupid, barbaric, inhumane and ignorant practice in the United States of America! We are supposed to be civilized country!

  13. Lynn Styles says:

    I am repulsed and disgusted that my species must cause pain and suffering to innocent beings for “pleasure”. It is barbaric and archaic and I pray civilized people will use their intellect and their reason to stop this horror.

  14. Mary Beth Douglas says:

    Hopefully enough people are gored and they learn their lesson. Stupid ignorant humans.

  15. Taraneh moayed says:

    So stupid. It’s bad enough we abuse animals for mass production, consumption and medical research…but do we really need to abuse them for entertainment too???

    1. Lisa says:

      We have been using animals for our “entertainment” for decades (circus, zoo’s, betting tracks, now movies…)….WE can be the start of a true evolution in thinking, and rise above our egocentric insecurities….and develop empathy towards ALL living things!!!!!

  16. Tess Goodman says:

    Such a ridiculously stupid event that abuses animals, jeopardizes human life and has no redeeming value whatsoever. This is a prime example of how some human beings don’t deserve the awesome gift of a brain and human potential — they have no idea how to utilize either.

  17. ilonka goode says:

    please when does this cruelty to animals finally stops it is inhumane just to watch some like that may it should really be done to the people who run the bulls or maybe they should have some spears in there body and run around druged and hurt

  18. Joyce says:

    We the HUMAN…are zo SICK to use…abuse this animals for FUNNN!!

  19. Margaret robinson says:

    Please stop this display of animal cruelty now

  20. Michele Martin says:

    Why can’t we just leave the animals alone and not use them for our entertainment – this is so beyond stupid – it needs to end NOW

  21. Susan Baguiao says:

    Maybe its good in a way that humans get hurt and this might put a stop to this faster.

  22. Lorie Obradovich says:

    I thought Spain was bad enough. Horrible!!

  23. Lorie Obradovich says:

    I though Spain was bad enough! Disgusting.

  24. Deb says:

    pathetically ignorant participants, supporters and city/county officials that endorse such barbaric activities instead of preventing them.

  25. Sandra Brewer says:


  26. Sandra Brewer says:


  27. Elise says:

    Please don’t host a Running of the Bulls!!! It’s barbaric and sadistic. Do the right thing!!!!

  28. Tamara Palmer says:

    These are beautiful creatures, not some gig like a monster truck show. There is nothing that justifies allowing this to happen. Don’t go backwards in time. This is 2013, on a planet that is dominated by humans, yet far from humane.

  29. Mark and Judy Harvey says:

    Stop this inhumanity!

  30. Trish Haywood says:

    This event is primitive, outdated and plain wrong! America regards itself as a modern and progressive country – this barbaric act proves the opposite is true. Judgement of the evolution of humans can be measured by their treatment of the animals, the sick, the elderly and young beings in their care – America (and all other nations on Earth) can be judged most harshly on all of these counts. Future historians will condemn their ancestors for these activities. :-((

  31. Melissa Fonteboa says:

    We are a “so-called” educated society so why even think about allowing anything like this, is it cruel and barbaric! Please do not allow this to happen.

  32. April says:

    Stop and think about what you are actually doing.Do you actually think this is fun? It makes no sense at all.

  33. Lucille Friscia says:

    Any sport that makes wild animals chase you is not a sport but a stupid idea!

  34. Susan Ferguson says:

    How stupid can you get!? I work around cattle all the time and we have a bull with a little problem with understanding “personal space”. I certainly wouldn’t want him chasing me. (We are working on that understanding, but a big 1200 or more pound bull is not good to have step on you.)

  35. Frederick Weinstein says:

    Stop it, now!

  36. Donna Knowles says:

    Please stop this disgusting behaviour

  37. Treycee says:


  38. Julia Kinney says:

    PLEASE STOP. We need to be better than this! Teaching our children that it’s ok to use animals in harmful and sadistic ways as “entertainment” is simply WRONG.

  39. jane ohara says:

    please stop this insanity and cruelty.

  40. Betty Arce says:

    Please do not allow this event to go forward. It’s dangerous for both humans and animals.

    Stop the madness!! Please!!

  41. Maria Sundgren says:

    Please don’t let the animals suffer just because of traditions. They have a nervous system and feelings. It’s extremely stressful for them.
    Thank you for reading this and for the compassion I’m hopeful you’ll show.

  42. Radhini says:

    Please stop this cruelty and torture to these poor animals.

  43. A Macon says:

    I am respectfully asking that you choose to end this event for the upcoming weekend. This is nothing more than cruelty to animals and I am sure that is not something you want your city associated with.

  44. Ronnie Steinau says:

    There is no reason to exploit animals for this ridiculous, stupid event. It is dangerous for both humans and the bulls and it serves no good purpose.

  45. Kristi Busch says:

    Please stop this insanity. It is dangerous and barbaric.

  46. crystal Laws says:

    What on God’s green Earth do you have to go and do this for? this is full on you know what, and someone is going to get killed. Besides that, these bulls are being abused by your “sport”. Isn’t it time you act like grown men and quite playing stupid games to feel alive? This is quite indicative of how miserable your little lives have become- that it takes something like this to thrill you. GROW UP. Your Mom would slap you.

  47. Sheila F.Bolton says:

    Please end this horrific event!! These beautiful animals are not meant to be tortured for sport! I know this is very wrong in God’s eyes!

  48. Mamie Holst says:


    and BAD for business.

  49. Linda N says:


  50. Tonya says:

    Stop !

  51. Tristan L Sullivan says:

    Cowards, sadists and pitiful fucking morons. Yeah, that’s you Texas, if you support this heartless cruel spectacle.

  52. Tristan L Sullivan says:

    Cowards, sadists. Yeah, that’s you Texas, if you support this heartless cruel spectacle.


    Stupid ignorant act that needs to be stopped!

  54. Farnaz says:


  55. Bruce Papier says:

    we should have evolved beyond this kind of inhumane activity centuries ago

  56. Liz T says:

    Cruel entertainment for simple-minded people. Please do not allow this to take place. Animals deserve better.

  57. Eli says:


  58. MARYRAPP says:

    This should not be happening in this country!! Or anywhere!

  59. Ross Mannino says:

    Please stop this unnecessary and cruel activity.

  60. William James says:

    we can only HOPE that the blind will see – having said that should Texas allow this tragedy to take place also hoping that there are many humans that pay with life and limb and that many lawsuits follow …

  61. Laura Blanchette says:

    Humans must find a way to celebrate without torturing defenseless animals. Is humanity ever going to evolve?????

  62. Cheryl Ulrich says:

    OMG … you’ve got to be kidding me !! This is an AWFUL idea !! What are you thinking ?!!?

  63. Megan Anderson says:

    By not allowing this event, 2 things will happen: 1) an animal will be saved from terror and pain and 2) many (stupid) humans will be prevented from having to go to the emergency room. Do the right thing. MAKE THIS AN ILLEGAL EVENT! Charge anyone who partakes in such a cruel activity.

  64. Lisa Aitala says:

    SHAME!!! How can Texas allow this? $$$$ vs Respect! Who is going to pay for the injuries? I bet they have to sign a waiver before participating.

    This is wrong on so many levels!!! Leave the animals alone, find a real job & stop the ignorance!!!

    Houston city officials should be ashamed of themselves!!!

  65. Stac Karron says:

    There is plenty of entertainment that does not involve animals. Animals are not ours to use for ANY purpose – certainly not violent “entertainment”. There are many men who voluntarily enter the ring to fight for your amusement. Let’s keep it that way and leave animals in their habitats where they belong. Someone is going to get hurt from this stupidity and it could be someone you know and love.

  66. vikki kath says:

    This is ridiculous. Please stop.

  67. vikki kath says:

    Please stop the running of the bulls in Texas. It’s very inhumane.

  68. Rachel Alexander says:

    This is irresponsible and very inhumane. Please stop this.

  69. Carol says:

    Please stop this horrific display of animal cruelty!!!!! It breaks my heart that people are entertained by torturing one of Gods precious creatures. Please ban this event from ever taking place again!

  70. bobandnancy slide says:

    i really wish you would find other ways to get about not using animals anymore because they have no way to escape ,if the people who started this could find something else that does,nt include any animals- but then that would be too kind– i dont feel sorry for people that patake in this they deserve what they get but the bulls dont deserve any of this abuse i dont support this at all —

  71. Schäfer Linda says:

    reicht es nicht,dass in südeuropa dieses perverse spiel getrieben wird? man sollte diesen mob nicht mit stieren vorantreiben sondern,mit richtigen bullenpeitschen.jeder schlag ein treffer!!!!die krone der schöpfung besteht wirklich nur aus idioten

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