- (Photo: Reuters/Albeiro Lopera)
Three people, including one American, were gored at the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Thankfully the three were not seriously injured, but the incident raises questions of whether the tradition should continue.
According to witnesses, one runaway bull charged the three runners as they huddled on the ground, trying to stay safe. Cowhands managed to distract the bull and lure it away from the victims, preventing further injuries to the three. Two British citizens were gored in their legs, as was the American.
Four other runners were injured in the annual kick-off to the San Fermin festival, and 15 people have been killed since records began being kept in 1924. While the tradition is praised by many residents and attracts thousands of tourists, many groups are calling for an end to the bull runs, which are often dangerous to both humans and animals.
"Before Daniel Jimeno was gored (in 2009), participants of the run had been complaining for years that the run was losing excitement and risk because of all the security measures which the municipality has put in place," Mayor Yolanda Barcina told the AFP.
"No matter how many security measures are put in place, bulls are animals and they can cause someone to lose their life," Barcina added.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also launched a campaign to end the bull runs, which end with bullfights and matadors goring the bull in front of large audiences.
"Tormenting and killing animals for entertainment is straight out of the Dark Ages," Poorva Joshipura, PETA's campaign coordinator, told the AFP. "If Spain wants to declare its place among modern Europe nations, the first thing the country should do is outlaw animal torture."
"The bulls used for the Running of the Bulls are running because they have been hit with sharp sticks or goaded with electric prods and are terrified. They run, slip, and slide on the streets of Pamplona into the bullring," she added.