Animal rights group question Pleasanton bull run

Animal rights groups have filed a lawsuit to stop a "running of the bulls" event in Pleasanton this summer.
March 15, 2014 12:36:01 AM PDT
A plan to allow people in the Bay Area to run with the bulls is facing some fierce opposition from animal rights advocates. The event is modeled after the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. But this version would take place in Pleasanton.

The company, called The Great Bull Run, is selling tickets for an event at the Alameda County fairgrounds on July 26. But PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have filed a lawsuit against the company and the provider of the bulls.

"California law makes it illegal to force a bull to fight a human being," Matthew Liebman, senior attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said. "It also makes it illegal to cause unjustifiable suffering to an animal and finally it makes it unlawful to host what's called a bloodless bullfight or a similar event."

ABC7 News reached out to The Great Bull Run, but didn't get a response. Its website states, "...we don't kill the bulls in a bullfight, nor do we abuse them IN ANY WAY. We don't hit them, shock them or deprive them of food, water, light or sleep."

But Liebman says the cruelty is clear.

"The potential for them to get entangled with other bulls or with runners and fall and break a leg or gore one another," he said.

Liebman says runners punched the bulls at the Florida event, and in Texas the bulls tried to get away from the runners only to be lassoed, roped and whipped into compliance.

But some Pleasanton residents don't really see the harm.

"I don't think it's necessarily cruel just because you have bulls out running around," Mark Guinther said. "It's one thing if you hurt the animals but it's another thing to let them do what they naturally do."

"It's not exactly a local Pleasanton tradition, but I think it would be quite an experience," Mark Koransky said.

The Great Bull Run is not yet listed on the fairgrounds' website and the event website says the event date and location are subject to change.