Humane Society Wants to Stop U.S. Bull Run

Illinois event slated for July 2014 at Hawthorne Race Course

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, officials from the Humane Society of the United States requested an investigation into what they called an "unlicensed event," and said the running of the bulls is a danger to the animals. Christian Farr reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug 7, 2013)

    The event isn't even slated to hit the Chicago area until next year, but already roughly 1,000 local thrill-seekers have signed up for the American version of Pamplona's Running of the Bulls.

    Hawthorne Race Course in south suburban Stickney is just one of the venues around the country that will host The Great Bull Run. Other events are planned for Virginia, Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

    While the premise remains the same, organizers say the events will have a stark difference from the Spanish run.

    "We're not using the hyper-aggressive, Spanish fighting bulls that they use in Spain," said spokesman Rob Dickens. "They train those bulls to really hate people."

    But in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, officials from the Humane Society of the United States requested an investigation into what they called an "unlicensed event," and said the running of the bulls is a danger to the animals.

    "These bulls, they're not going to run because they're happy. They're not going to run because they're content. They're going to be running because they're scared," said Humane Society spokesman John Goodwin.

    If government officials don't prevent the event from taking place, the bulls will run in Stickney next July.