Animal group urges cancellation of Great Bull Run

Posted at 5:51 PM, May 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-29 07:01:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--A local animal group has called the upcoming Great Bull Run event inhumane and urged organizers to cancel the activity.

The event is scheduled for August 24, at the Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie County.

The group Richmond Friends of Animals said that an online petition has collected over 2,000 signatures from individuals opposed to the event because they feel the bulls will be treated inhumanely.

In an email to CBS 6, the group wrote:

"The bulls used in this event will likely be subjected to many long hours of uncomfortable confinement to reach the venue. They will then be forced to endure bewildering and frightening situations with crowds of people, loud noises and unfamiliar situations.

They may be forced to run on slippery, paved surfaces among overly excited people who will likely taunt, jeer or otherwise harass them. In all likelihood, it will be a terrifying situation for the animals and the potential for severe injury is great."

CBS 6 reached out to Rob Dickens, who is the founder and COO of the local bull run. Dickens said the event does not involve the abuse or mistreatment of the animals in any way.

He said that the organizers follow the same livestock transportation guidelines as required by any animal being transported and it’s no different than transporting a horse to a horse show.

In addition, he said that as far as being forced to run on slippery, paved surfaces, the animals only run on dirt or grass. Also the same animals are used for each event and are trained to run from point A to point B so they are trained to be used to the crowds.