Scottish Woman Lies Naked And ‘Speared’ In Spain To Protest Against The Running Of The Bulls

For Immediate Release:
5 July 2009
Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

Caithness, Scotland – Today, 24-year-old Caithness native Joanne Simm lay nearly naked and “bloodied” with banderillas (barb-tipped wooden daggers) pinned to her back in Pamplona, Spain, to protest against the cruel Running of the Bulls and the nights of bullfights that follow. Joanne, an environmental studies student at the Open University who practices Indian head massage in her spare time, was one of more than 100 people to participate in the demonstration during the run-up to the Running of the Bulls festival. The protest was organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Spanish sister group AnimaNaturalis.

After learning how bulls are treated during the Running of the Bulls and the bullfights that follow, Simm felt compelled to act. Electric prods and sharp sticks are used to rile the bulls into a frenzy before the Running of the Bulls, and the bulls are tortured and slaughtered in the bullring afterward. Bullfighting takes place every day during the weeklong festival. Before the bullfights even begin, bulls are often debilitated with tranquilisers and beaten. Simm expressed horror that bulls are speared in the shoulders with painful banderillas during bullfights, causing blood loss and further weakening the animals.

Spanish opposition to bullfighting is mounting. Seventy-two per cent of Spaniards show no interest in bullfighting (up from 54 per cent who showed no interest in the 1980s) and 80 per cent of French citizens oppose bullfighting.

“Tormenting and butchering animals for entertainment is sickening and savage”, says Simm. “I gladly exposed my skin to help expose the cruelty of the Running of the Bulls and the horror of bullfights.”