A peaceful protest by PETA against the torture of bulls was obstructed and the participants surrounded and searched by armed gendarmes. On this second day of protest, the PETA activists barely got themselves in place when they were harassed by an aggressive aficionado who tore down their banner, and their action was stopped short by half a dozen members of the law enforcement.
The day before, flanked by two “giant bulls”, they brandished a banner on which was written “Bicycles, not bulls!” Bullfighting is not a sport. » as the Tour de France riders passed by, during the 3rd stage of the route not far from Bayonne – an appeal to the race organizers to no longer select towns where bullfights take place as the start or finish stages and to stop turning a blind eye to this bloody practice from another age which tarnishes the image of France internationally.
The action follows a letter sent by the association to Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, and Jean-Étienne Amaury, president of Amaury Sport Organization which organizes the event, stressing that:
“The values represented by the Tour de France could not be further from bullfighting. The first is a sport that celebrates human tenacity, camaraderie and respect among competitors. The other is a bloody ritual, not a fair fight. The bull is forced to participate and tries desperately to escape his torturers, to no avail. »
Torture, not culture
During a bullfight, several terrified bulls are tortured one after the other in an arena. With no possibility of escape, each animal is tormented and chased on horseback, and pikes and banderillas are planted in its back and neck. When he is exhausted and has lost so much blood that he can barely breathe and stand, the matador (“killer” in Spanish) tries to finish him off with a sword. But it is not uncommon for him to miss his target and for his weapon to pierce the bull's lungs instead of his heart, leaving the bull to die drowning in his own blood. Often when it is the spinal cord that is injured, animals are still conscious as their ears and tails are severed and held up as "trophies" before they are dragged by chains out of the arena.
Each of these bulls is a sensitive individual capable of feeling fear and pain, and who cares about his life as we care about ours. For bullfighting, however, they are thrown into the food of “killers”, prey to terror, agony and confusion at not knowing why they are being subjected to torture without any escape. No legal exception, and even less for entertainment, should allow the torture of a sentient being to be staged.
Justice for the Bulls
The Tour de France is a real sporting event and a tradition of which France can be proud and we ask it to avoid in the future the cities where bullfighting is practiced, whose values could not be further from its own. . This would send a strong message: the Tour de France does not support animal cruelty.
In France, 77% of the population want these bloody shows banned – we encourage all of these people to take action by writing to the mayors of bullfighting towns asking them to ban these bloody shows on their territory:
- PETA France
Article photos courtesy of PETA France.