An online investigation1 by the League Against Cruel Sports, has found several tour companies continuing to prioritise profit over animal welfare by promoting Spain’s San Fermin Running of the Bulls Festival.

The animal welfare charity contacted ten companies, which include TripAdvisor, Airbnb and EasyJet, ahead of this year’s event in Pamplona, urging them to immediately cease all direct and indirect promotion of the Festival’s cruel activities. At the time of writing, Airbnb, GetYourGuide and KAYAK have already responded and removed all Pamplona bull running material from their sites, and TripAdvisor have opened an investigation into the findings reported to them.

UPDATE – 20th July, 2017: We are pleased to report that EasyJet has now responded to our request and ceased any promotion of the Pamplona Running of the Bulls Festival on its website. Thank you EasyJet!

UPDATE – 18th September, 2017: We are pleased to report that TripAdvisor has now concluded its investigation and has removed Running of The Bulls Travel from its website along with their associated tours to Pamplona bull running events. Thank you TripAdvisor!

The League is now calling on all remaining companies found to be promoting the Pamplona Bull Run during their investigation (The Backpacker Tour Company, Festival Adventures, PP Travel, First Festival and Stoke Travel), to respond to the request and cease any promotion of the Festival immediately.

The annual event, which begins tomorrow, will see numerous bulls beaten, abused and slaughtered during the festival’s daily bull runs and bullfights. The bull running involves six bulls being chased through the city’s streets every morning, where they are repeatedly hit and taunted by jeering crowds. The bulls are then forced into a holding pen, where stressed and disorientated, they await their deaths at the evening bullfights.

Eduardo Gonçalves, CEO for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “It is time travel companies stopped marketing the Bull Running Festival and its appalling animal cruelty.

“While we are very pleased with the swift action taken by some companies already, we would urge all tour operators to prioritise animal welfare over their profits and make a lasting commitment to end the promotion of this hideous activity once and for all.

“Many people fail to see the connection with bull running and bullfighting, but the two are inextricably linked in Pamplona and any tourists visiting the city for the bull running festival are supporting this cruel tradition.”

The charity’s investigations ahead of this year’s nine-day event have revealed companies adopting a variety of tactics in order to profit from the Pamplona Festival. These include asking travellers if they are ‘Going to Running of the Bulls’, alongside listings for local accommodation on their websites, specifically selling tours to the Running of the Bulls festival, which they describe as ‘the biggest adrenaline rush’ and ‘the wildest, most emotive and fun fiesta in Europe’, and one company, that previously removed all references to bullfighting from its websites, still continuing to advise travellers, saying ‘take your chance to run with the bulls,’ on its ‘Things to Do in Pamplona’ web page.

A group of bulls in the Pamplona bull run

English actress and anti-bullfighting campaigner, Gemma Atkinson, said: “It sickens me that festivals involving the torture and killing of animals, such as the Pamplona Bull Run, are still being promoted as acceptable tourist attractions.

“How disappointing too, that companies that previously dropped mentions of bullfighting from their websites, have started indirect promotion of the events again.

“Contrary to what is often portrayed in the media, there is absolutely nothing macho or brave about abusing and killing animals.”

The evening bullfights that form part of the Bull Running Festival, involve the senseless abuse, attack and slaughter of bulls. Bullfighters on foot and on horseback, wave capes to taunt the animals and repeatedly stab the confused bulls in the neck and back with lances, barbed sticks and swords. When a bull finally collapses after having a long sword penetrate his body, his spinal cord may be cut – but the animal may still be conscious if someone decides to cut off its ears and tail to give to the matador as ‘trophies’.

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For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected].

Notes to Editors

  1. During an online web search, conducted between 11/06/2017 and 30/06/2017, all the named companies’ websites contained a variety of references to the Pamplona Bull Running Festival.
  • The League has previously been successful in persuading large global organisations to drop their sponsorship or promotions of bullfighting, including: Ryanair, Ben & Jerry’s and British Airways and were delighted that such companies acted on compassion. STA Travel, Topdeck Travel, Thomas Cook and Brittany Ferries are among other operators that have ceased promoting the Pamplona festival.
  • The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).