Fun Bull Facts

  • Bulls are the males of the species collectively known as cattle, the females being cows, and the young calves
  • Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates
  • They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos taurus
  • Contrary to what bullfighters say, bullfighting bulls are not a different species which are somehow better adapted to bullfighting. They are just members of different breeds from European Cattle, which have been bred and raised differently than cattle for milk or meat
  • Bulls and cows are herbivores and have four stomachs!
  • Like humans, the gestation period for a cow is about nine months long
  • The astrological star sign Taurus is actually Latin for “the Bull”
  • The Bull represents a strong-willed character with great perseverance and determination.
  • It is a myth that bulls are enraged by the colour red

Why we need to protect bulls


There are many types of bullfighting in which bulls and cows are tortured in front of the public for entertainment, but in a typical Spanish style bullfight, the bull is released into a bullring then attacked by men on foot and on horseback with lances and barbed harpoons. The matador forces the confused, exhausted and injured bull to make a few charges before eventually attempting to kill it with a sword. If not killed outright, the animal is stabbed in the back of the neck with a dagger until it is paralysed and finally dies.

Public opinion is now firmly opposed to what is perhaps the most famous of spectator ‘cruel sports’ that has not yet been completely abolished, but bull fighting continues in nine countries although the movement to ban it is very strong in all of them.

The Running of the Bulls

The ‘running of the bulls’ is a practice which involves letting loose bulls or cows to run with and in front of jeering crowds along a designated route to their final destination, often the bull ring.

These events happen in many countries and take many forms, some of which involve the use of ropes, fire or water. The bull run for the San Fermin fiesta in Pamplona (North Spain) is the most famous of these events, attracting thousands of international tourists each year. The League has been successful in persuading UK tour operators to stop sending tourists to these events, as it is tourism which keeps them going.

Bull fiestas

Traditional fiestas in Spain and some other countries have often included a bull fight or bull run as part of the ‘celebration’. In other cases, the infamous ‘fire’ festivals involve tar being smeared on a bull’s horns which are then set on fire. Cows and calves are also sometimes abused in fiestas of this type.

Head of a fighting bull

What is the League doing to protect bulls

• The League continues to highlight the cruelty of bullfighting and is involved internationally in attempting to get it banned for good
• We shall continue to educate travel operators from the UK who advertise the Pamplona Bull Run and ask them to stop promoting it

How can I help bulls?


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