Paddy Power ceases cruel bullfight bets
15 May 2009
After almost two years of campaigning by ICABS, Paddy Power has announced that it has stopped taking bets on the number of ears cut from bulls following torture sessions in Spanish bullrings. ICABS welcomes Paddy Power's decision to finally dispense with these grotesque bets and we thank everyone in Ireland and around the world who helped achieve this success.
The appalling bets were available to punters on the Spanish section of the Paddy Power website. In one of our letters of appeal to the company, ICABS stated: "We find it absolutely grotesque and in the poorest of taste the Paddy Power company's acceptance of such bets. As people are placing bets on the Paddy Power website, tortured bulls are stumbling around the bullrings with blood spurting from their backs and spraying from their noses and mouths. How can your company justify making money from this disgusting animal abuse?"
Paddy Power's response at the time was that it was "business" and commented: "We neither support nor denounce bullfighting, we simply respect this Spanish custom and offer a choice to those customers who wish to bet on it."
As part of our sustained campaign, ICABS made impassioned pleas to all of the company's directors to intervene to stop the bets. They were shown photos of matadors holding up severed ears while the victims squirmed on the ground. Also brought to their attention were our campaign videos which featured explicit footage of suffering bulls.
Today, after nearly two years of campaigning, ICABS welcomes Paddy Power's decision to finally dispense with their bullring bets.
We thank every individual and group from here and abroad who responded to our action alerts and sent in our campaign postcards. A special thanks to Maria Lopes of the International Movement Against Bullfights - www.iwab.org - for originally bringing this issue to our attention in August 2007.
While Paddy Power have stopped taking bets on bullring cruelty, we must not forget that the removal of ears and other violent abuse against bulls sadly continues in the bullrings. The campaign against bullfighting cruelty continues and we urge you to please continue responding to our action alerts so that together we can continue working steadily towards the day when this sickening blood sport is a thing of the past.
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