Organizers plan on bringing their event, which has ticket-holders running alongside raving bulls, to Los Angeles County. But the animal rights group PETA is dead against it and has vowed to block the Great Bull Run in SoCal, as it seems to have done successfully already.
The group's attempts to hold events in Temecula and Lake Elsinore have been rejected thanks, in part, from pressure on government officials by activists who say the bulls are mistreated when subjected to a run down a narrow pathway with a bunch of yahoos:
Great Bull Run organizers say they're moving forward anyway and will make an announcement about a new location in about three weeks. “We're considering L.A. County as well as other areas for The Great Bull Run – SoCal,” CEO Rob Dickens told us.
He said Temecula officials couldn't swallow the risk:
As for Temecula, Riverside County was unwilling to grant Temecula Downs Event Center a permit for the event because they deemed the event too dangerous. However, we've had over 20,000 runners at our events thus far and have had only two people suffer somewhat serious injuries: one person with a fractured pelvis (and he refused medical attention on site and drove himself to the hospital) and one person with a broken wrist. Perhaps more importantly, we've had ZERO injuries to our bulls.
PETA contends such events, held in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and other locations, are illegal in California, where two laws prohibit animal annoyance and “bloodless bullfighting” (unless the latter is done for a religious ceremony).
In fact, in March the group filed a federal lawsuit against The Great Bull Run seeking to prevent the company from staging any of its bull run events in California.
PETA attorney Matthew Strugar told us:
Our position is that the bulls are exploited for these events. They are forced to run through narrow chutes with hundreds of running people. They're terrified and will do anything, including trampling, to get away.