Organizers of Pamplona-style bull run agree to steer clear of California

Organizers say the bull runs have resulted in no life-threatening injuries

The organizers of a bull run like the famous annual event in Pamplona, Spain, have agreed to keep the adrenaline-pumping gathering out of California as part of a lawsuit settlement with animal rights groups.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Animal Legal Defense Fund claimed a victory in the settlement to banish the organizers of the so-called Great Bull Run event from the Golden State.

"The Great Bull Run is as dangerous as it is senselessly cruel," said Delcianna Winders, deputy general counsel for the PETA Foundation.

"The Great Bull Run is a disgrace wherever it occurs -- but that will never again be in the state of California," said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The lawsuit against the Great Bull Run was filed last March, charging that it violates the state's cruelty-to-animals law.

A bull run was scheduled for last November in Pomona but was canceled after Los Angeles County fire officials rejected a permit request, saying the event "appears to violate reasonable public safety" standards.

PETA also opposed the bull run, charging that the race is cruel to the two dozen bulls that are released to chase after runners in a quarter-mile sprint. The organization said it is investigating ways to block the event in other states.

The Great Bull Run organizer Rob Dickens has defended the event, saying the races have been run for the last two years throughout the country and have resulted in big crowds but no life-threatening injuries. He rejected charges that the bulls are abused.

The last race in California on July 26 in Pleasanton drew 4,500 runners and spectators, with one runner suffering a concussion and bruises.

Dickens said he has since changed strategies, making the bull run a once-a-year event instead of a traveling race. The next and only bull run this year is scheduled for July 18 in Chicago, he said.

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