8 Jul, 2013 @ 15:10
1 min read

Blood on their hands

running of the bulls

A BRITISH poet has blasted Brits who are taking part in this week’s Pamplona bull running.

Reggae star Benjamin Zephaniah insists anyone attending the seven day festival will have ‘blood on their hands’.

His attack came after a British reveller was injured on the first day of the San Fermín festival.

John Bennett, 44, from Wolverhampton, nearly suffocated beneath a pile of people after falling the moment a lone bull turned on runners.

Trapped beneath bodies, Bennett insisted his life was saved when he was dragged out by a first aid worker.

“It was the first time I’ve run and it will be the last” said Mr Bennett.

In an article in The Guardian, Zephaniah meanwhile claimed that anyone visiting Pamplona during San Fermín, even if they weren’t actually running the bulls, were contributing to the suffering of the animals.

“Every shared tapa, every cerveza, every booked hotel room and balcony bolsters the killing,” he wrote.

“Tormenting and butchering bulls for entertainment belongs to the dark ages – not the 21st century’ he continued.

Animal rights group Peta also highlighted the body count by sending people to lie in 48 coffins in Pamplona, to represent the four dozen bulls killed during San Fermín.


  1. Benjamin Zephaniah as always, tells it like it is. He is a poet certainly, not sure he’d like to be known as a “reggae star” though, (as O.P. styles him.)

  2. Rastafarians view eating meat as Cannibalism, so his reaction is in line with his faith. I doubt he would approve of the Guardia Civil raiding boats loaded with Cannabis either.

  3. Sounds like the usual ‘have never been, never tried it, so I must be an expert’. The Pamplona festival is great fun and running the bulls is part of the romance.

  4. This event exists to extract money out of foreigners on holiday. The Spanish press delights in showing dumb fat Americans rolling around in pain. The people are young guys that don’t know any better so to a certain extend they could be forgiven for getting caught up in the excitement. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the “blood on their hands” quote is correct, I guess he’s angry at himself more than anything else.

  5. And as a Rasta he believes that black people should return to Ethiopia, the home of Emperor Haile Selassie. “Ras Tafari”, despite the fact that Jamaicans were sold into slavery by their Kings in West Africa. Ethiopia is only slightly nearer than Jamaica. There is also obviously nothing stopping them simply buying a ticket. But they tend not to. There is a certain amount of shall we say “confusion” in the doctrine.

  6. Lennox. What an idiotic statement. There is nothing “romantic” about running the bulls, either in Pamplona or any ware else. the bull suffers terribly through heat exhaustion and stress and then id chased into a ring and slowly tortured and massacred for the sake of sock individual’s like you who this it is fun!!!

  7. Someone was asking whether the bulls get ‘hurt’

    ‘During the Bull Run the bulls usually do not get hurt. They may bruise themselves if they slip and fall. In the evening then at 6 p.m., the bulls are killed during the bullfights in the bullfight arena’

    So they don’t get hurt at all during the bullrun. Just stabbed and tortured and killed afterwards! Do some tourist runners not realise this or something?

    Some of our local ones take the bulls back to their field after running them which would be a better situation?

  8. Benjamin Zephaniah is NOT a Rastafarian. In his own words, he “believes in God without a religion”. Just because he wears his hair in “locks”, is a Vegan and supports Aston Villa, doesn’t make him a Rasta. (Don’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia) Instead, try actually reading some of his poems….

  9. All this hype against bullfighting is only to lighten the conscience of some busybodies. We all should know under what conditions our supermarket chicken, turkey, pigs and cows live — much worse than a bull growing up the natural way. This race of bulls would not even exist anymore without la corrida.

  10. Just because the majority of the population eats meat does not make it correct to torture other species until death. MANY bulls are injured during bull runs and it is not just scrapes and bruises. I have seen bulls keel over and die through heat exhaustion. They do not have the “cooling system” of other animals, do not sweat and their tongue is short, unlike a dog which can use this as a cooling mechanism. This is an unnatural environment for them, and very stressful. A fighting bull does not grow up “in a natural way” It is taught to be aggressive by its breeders, by regular poking’s and prodding’s. I am not a “busy body”, but a believer that no species of animal should be treated in such a barbaric manner for the entertainment of another!!
    Everyone is entitled to an opinion of course but when people spout ignorant, ill informed rubbish they should keep them to themselves.

  11. To ignorant people out there that think the bull run in Pamplona is “just a bit of fun” and say that the bull is not hurt. Look at the video taken today of the bull being chased, confused it bangs its head on a post and is killed. Not happy with that the drunks try to drag it by the tail.

  12. If you don´t like it stay out!! stay where you are!!
    leave the san fermines to those who love it and feel alive running the bulls.NO WHIMPS OR WET BLANKETS ALLOWED…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Olly Murs to headline Gibraltar Music Festival

Next Story

Nine dead and 21 injured in worst crash in five years in Spain

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press