The annual running of the bulls events in two California sites have been slapped with a lawsuit from animal rights groups, who say that the runs endanger both animals and people. The lawsuit was filed Thursday by PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, according to the local Press Enterprise.
The Southern California event is tentatively scheduled for June 21 at the Temecula Downs Event Center, a multi-purpose facility east of the city of Temecula's borders. The Northern California event is tentatively scheduled for July 26 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
The events, which feature around two dozen bulls chasing after a crowd of about 600 people on a course, are treated like rodeos in many other states. For that reason, similar lawsuits to shut the runs down have failed. But Matthew Strugar, senior litigation counsel with the PETA Foundation, said that California could prove more successful. "California has favorable laws for us and we thought this would be a favorable jurisdiction," he said.
The lawsuit argues that the state penal code that bans bullfighting -- "or any similar contest or exhibition" -- covers events such as The Great Bull Run. They also say that the runs are cruel and inhumane.
"These events show great disregard for animal welfare in pursuit of a cheap thrill and a profit," said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, in a press release. "For the well-being of the bulls, as well as the safety of the public, we are asking the court to stop The Great Bull Run."