Letters to the editor

One reader thinks the running of the bulls in Spain is a form of animal cruelty, not a tourist attraction.
One reader thinks the running of the bulls in Spain is a form of animal cruelty, not a tourist attraction.

Spanish event is bull

This week the sleepy Spanish city of Pamplona has been inundated with tens of thousands of tourists from around the globe - including Australia.

The attraction? The infamous San Fermin festival - otherwise known as "the running of the bulls"

Each morning throughout this festival, revellers flaunt their bravado by taunting and racing ahead of six bulls and six steers who - with the aid of electric prods and sharp sticks  - are stampeded through the city's narrow, winding, cobbled streets.

The hapless bulls, who have never known anything other than the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, suddenly find themselves in the midst of a roaring, raucous, drunken mob who shoot darts at them.

Noisy fire cracker rockets add to their terror as, bewildered and disorientated, they slip and stumble on the wine-soaked cobblestones. Many sustain bruises, cuts, and broken bones.

But it's what happens to the bulls later that is most shocking.

After a brief respite, they will become one of the 250,000 bulls cruelly tortured and killed by the bull fighting industry each year.

Before being prodded into the ring, the bull may be given laxatives or have petroleum jelly smeared in his eyes to debilitate him.

Once in the ring, the picadors on horseback drive lances into the bulls back and neck muscles, impairing his ability to lift his head. Next they twist and gouge the lances to ensure a significant amount of blood loss.

Then come the banderilleros on foot, who proceed to distract and dart around the bull while plunging banderillas - sharp, barbed sticks - into his back.

When the bull is weakened from blood loss, these banderilleros run the bull in more circles until he is dizzy and stops chasing.

Finally, the matador appears and, after provoking a few exhausted charges from the dying animal, tries to kill the bull with his sword.

If he misses, succeeding only in further mutilation, an executioner is called in to stab the exhausted animal to death.

Jenny Moxham, Victoria

Help a worthy cause

On June 17, 2017 my son-in-law at the age of 40 lost his life after suffering mental health issues. We have received great support from the community including the local Rotary Club and Coolamon Lions Club. Together, with Run to Raise and Music 4 Mates, they have organised "The Not So Secret Men's, Women's and Children's Business – Sausage Party" at 7pm on July 12 at the Coolamon Sport and Recreation Club.  

Speakers will speak for a total of one hour then people can sit down, have a chat and watch the State of Origin, if they wish, at the Sport and Recreation Club.

The speakers will include:

  • Bill Thompson, chairperson
  • Annette Hunt, psychologist based at Coolamon telephone 0438 893 389
  • Kaarin Edyvean from Music 4 Mates Organisation
  • Tina Kendell, a Counsellor and owner of Call Back Counselling - https://www.callbackcounselling.com.au/
  • Graham Park, Captain of Leeton NSW Fire Rescue, who specialises in debriefing people after accidents, etc
  • David Post, counsellor Rural Outreach telephone 0408221697 - david.post@relationships.com.au
  • Marilyn Limbrick, NSW Health Narrandera

My family encourage people to talk openly about mental health and suicide and the aim of the function is to ensure that our community is aware of these issues.

Wayne Lewis, Coolamon

  • If you or someone you know needs help, contact:

Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.