Guinness Book Of Records Slammed Shut On Boy Bullfighter’S Calf-Killing ‘Feat’

For Immediate Release:
28 January 2009

Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – If you aspire to be counted amongst the elite listed by Guinness World Records Ltd, don’t even think about it if your feat involves harming animals. Just ask 11-year-old Michel Lagravere Peniche, who was hoping to be recognised by Guinness after he stabbed six calves to death in a Mexican bull ring. In a special statement posted on its Web site, Guinness made its policy on animal abuse abundantly clear: “Guinness World Records was not aware that this event was taking place, and will not recognise the result. We do not accept records based on the killing or harming of animals”. PETA Europe has sent a letter of appreciation to Guinness editor in chief Craig Glenday.

Reportedly encouraged by his parents, the boy bullfighter has killed more than 160 1- to 2-year-old calves. These animals are practically babies and are not naturally aggressive. Video footage shows the boy as he drives lances into a calf’s back and neck muscles, twisting the lances to ensure significant blood loss. After the calf is completely exhausted, the boy stabs him with a sword. In bullfights, if the matador misses and succeeds only in further mutilating the animal, the bull is stabbed in the spine. Sometimes the executioner misses, leaving the bull conscious but paralysed as his ears are cut off and he is dragged from the arena chained by the horns.

PETA points out that in an era when violence is on the rise, it is vital that children should be taught to be kind to others – not rewarded for causing animal suffering in the name of entertainment or “tradition”.

“Making a hero out of a boy who routinely torments and kills gentle calves sends a dangerous message to children everywhere”, says PETA Europe Director, Robbie LeBlanc. “We hope other organisations follow Guinness World Records’ example and enact policies condemning cruelty to animals.”

PETA’s letter to Guinness World Records Ltd is available upon request. For more information, please visit