Humane Society condemns plans for Costa Rican bull run

Humane Society International has come out against the proposed bull fiesta event Pamplona y Más scheduled to take place next month in Costa Rica. This kind of copycat spectacle, intended to emulate the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain, serves only to torment bulls, the organization said.

The proposed festival Pamplona y Más, sponsored by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Costa Rica, centers around the release of several bulls to run through enclosed spaces. Humane Society International urged the Costa Rican government to take a strong stance against allowing the import of what it called a cruel event. Costa Rica already bans cockfighting and dog fights.

“The tormenting of animals for amusement can never be acceptable,” said Cynthia Dent, director of Humane Society International-Latin America. “We encourage the Costa Rican authorities to refuse authorization for this event, and we
strongly urge the Spanish government and representatives to start listening to the call of compassionate activists from around the world and stop their efforts to perpetuate these events, both in Spain and abroad.”

The encierro or bull run of San Fermín is a yearly activity that takes place in July, during which hundreds of people run in front of bulls through a half mile stretch of narrow streets. This event not only causes great distress and fear to the bulls, but it usually results in hundreds of people being injured and sometimes even the death of some unlucky bystander, the organization noted.

While bullfighting and related bull fiestas are still held in countries such as Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Perú and Ecuador, worldwide audiences have increasingly expressed their opposition to bullfighting and bull fiestas in general in recent years, the organization said. Humane Society International condemns both bullfighting and all other bull fiesta events, which cause unconscionable stress and panic to bulls, it said in a release.

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