Demand the Great Bull Run Comply with the Animal Welfare Act

  • By: Susan Bird / Care2Causes
  • Target: USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave, S.W., Washington DC 20250

Cities in Virginia, Georgia, Texas, Florida, California, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania have decided to host an event called the Great Bull Run. The events, scheduled between August 2013 and July 2014, are intended to recreate the experience of "running with the bulls" in Pamplona, Spain. Cattle will be sent thundering around an enclosed racetrack while participants run in front of or alongside them.

Why will the bulls run? Because they're scared. Event organizers promise not to "hit them, shock them or deprive them of food, water, light or sleep," but they haven't promised not to frighten them. The combination of scared bulls forced to run among throngs of noisy, capering humans in front of a screaming crowd of onlookers is a recipe for injury or perhaps death. The human participants will join in voluntarily. The bulls have no choice. They will be trucked from event to event, forced to participate over and over. Does this sound cruel and inappropriate to you?

If you believe the U.S. Department of Agriculture should step in and require these events to comply with the strict requirements of the Animal Welfare Act, please sign this petition. It will be delivered to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack by

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

We, the undersigned, were surprised and concerned to learn that several "running of the bulls" events have been scheduled throughout the United States in 2013 and 2014. These events set loose multiple cattle which are made to stampede down a course while participants run in front of or beside them in front of a screaming crowd. It can be a highly dangerous event for the bulls and the participants.

We respectfully urge you to find that these events, as currently planned, violate the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Please require that the organizers of these events obtain a USDA license pursuant to 9 C.F.R. section 2.1 and that they comply with AWA requirements. Specifically, they should be considered "exhibitors" of animals under the AWA and therefore be required to ensure that during exhibition of the bulls, the bulls and the public are "handled so there is minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public, with sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animal and the general viewing public so as to assure the safety of animals and the public," in accordance with 9 C.F.R. section 2.131(c)(1)).

We thank you for your consideration of our request and your attention to our concerns for the safety and well-being of the bulls and the participants in these dangerous events.

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