‘Get Your Balls Out – Not The Bulls’, PETA Tells Spanish And Portuguese Towns

For Immediate Release:

25 September 2014


Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]

Running From Huge Polystyrene Balls Offers Humane Fun for Thrill-Seekers, and PETA Will Pay for Towns to Make the Switch

London – After swapping out its annual running of the bulls in favour of a family-friendly event wherein participants run from gigantic polystyrene balls, the Spanish town of Mataelpino saw an increase in tourism – and now, following the recent death of two runners at an event in the small Portuguese town of Moita,  PETA is offering to pay for other towns to follow Mataelpino’s example and will provide gigantic balls painted to look like bulls to any Spanish or Portuguese town willing to make the switch.

“Mataelpino’s fun and family-friendly ‘running of the balls’ is a perfect fit for a world that is more opposed to bullfighting than ever”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA’s motto reads, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to use for entertainment’ – but giant balls and humans volunteering to run from them are fair game!”

Every year, people are gored and trampled while running with bulls. This year saw Aussie tourist Jason Gilbert gored so badly during a bull run in Pamplona that he almost died. He has since spoken out against the festival and urged other thrill-seekers to stay away. While the 125kg balls used in Mataelpino can build up quite a lot of speed, they carry none of the risk of goring participants – and smaller versions of the balls are even suitable for children.

After bull runs, bulls are tormented and killed in bullfights. In the ring, a bull is repeatedly stabbed by a variety of spears, spikes and daggers, causing tremendous pain and blood loss, until the matador finally drives a sword into the exhausted animal. Bullfighting has been on the decline for years, with attendance decreasing and bullrings closing in countries where it is still allowed. In 2012, bullfighting was banned throughout the whole of Catalonia. This year, Barcelona further banned anything that even resembles a bullfight. Seventy-six per cent of Spaniards say that they have no interest in bullfighting. One Mataelpino local told reporters, “It was the tradition but it was a dying one. People don’t want to see frightened animals running for their lives any more”.

PETA’s letter to Spanish and Portuguese mayors is available on request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.