Ryanair recommends visit to cruel bullrun
08 August 2006
The latest edition of Ryanair's in-flight magazine is recommending a visit to Pamplona's cruel bullrun as a holiday idea. The magazine's front cover is filled with a photo of people taunting bulls alongside a headline which says "Wild at heart - Come to Pamplona and run with the bulls!"
Inside, an article declares that "if you are lucky, you can watch the Running of the Bulls every day from July 7-14 from the balcony of 'La Perla' hotel like Hemingway did." (To read the article in full, please visit this Ryanair Magazine webpage).
It goes on to give tips to those planning to take part in the run. An experienced bullrun participant quoted in the article advises people who fall to "stay down and lie very still so as not to attract their attention".
Although the feature acknowledges the danger to participants ("countless people have been injured during the run, with thirteen runners reported to have been killed") and a higher "fatality rate" for the bulls, the predominant impression is that the bullrun is being celebrated.
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has written a letter of complaint to Ryanair Magazine editor, Heinz Gerhardt, reminding him that earlier this year, we were assured that no further cruelty-related articles would appear in the magazine.
"Not only is this Pamplona coverage objectionable from the point of view of the animal cruelty (the bulls are taunted, hit with sticks, subjected to electric shock prods, may suffer injuries including broken bones and are destined to be killed at the end of the day in a bullring)," we wrote, "but also, the Pamplona bullrun is dangerous for the human participants, the Ryanair Magazine readers who may have been encouraged to attend."
We highlighted that during 2006 Pamplona festival last month, an American man was left paralysed after being hit by a cow.
Elsewhere in the Ryanair Magazine, bullfighting is mentioned in a section dealing with Jerez, Spain. In March of this year, ICABS complained about similar content in a previous edition. We argued that the presence of three bullfight references in the article could be viewed as a recommendation to visit a bullfight. It puts it into readers' minds that when they reach Jerez, one of the options is to go visit a bullring, we stated.
"We find the suggestion that visitors to Jerez should attend a bullfight where animals are brutally injured and killed to be wholly inappropriate. Many tourists who attend bullfights come away feeling disgusted and upset at seeing animals being abused," we added.
Please join us in our call to Ryanair Magazine to stop publicising animal cruelty events.
Mr Michael O'Leary
Tel: 00 353 (0)1 812 1212