Paddy Power Stops Accepting Bullfight Bets

For Immediate Release:
12 May 2009

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

Dublin – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Europe has received assurances from Paddy Power that the Irish sports-betting company will no longer accept bets on bullfights. Paddy Power’s Spanish website had been taking wagers on the number of ears that would have been cut off bulls slaughtered in Spanish bullrings.

“[W]e have ceased accepting bets on bullfighting and it is not our intention to offer this market again”, wrote Paddy Power company secretary David Johnson in an e-mail to PETA.

Bulls suffer slow and agonising deaths in bullrings. They are often given laxatives and are beaten in the kidneys in order to debilitate them before they enter the ring, where they are tormented and stabbed to death in front of screaming crowds. When a bull enters the ring, a matador, two picadors on horses and three men on foot weaken the bull by repeatedly stabbing him. After the bull loses blood and becomes exhausted, the matador attempts to kill him by piercing his heart with a sword. The matador rarely succeeds on the first try and often must make several thrusts, frequently piercing the animal’s lungs instead. A dagger is often used to cut the bull’s spinal cord, but the bull is sometimes still conscious when his ears and tail are cut off in a final show of “victory”.

After the Barcelona City Council declared Barcelona to be an anti-bullfighting city in April 2004 in an effort to eventually have the blood sport banned, other Spanish towns followed suit.

“Bravo to Paddy Power for distancing itself from a barbaric ritual”, says PETA Europe Director Robbie LeBlanc. “The only sure bet at a bullfight is that one animal after another will be slowly tormented and killed, which is why these cruel events must stop.”

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