THE goring of several men in the annual Pamplona bull run has drawn attention again to this barbaric festival.
You risk being injured, or even killed, when you take your chances in the event and the bulls are routinely killed afterwards, some in bullfights.
Both practices are stains on civilisation.
So, too, are other forms of recreational animal cruelty. Ireland's answer to the bull run and bullfighting is hare coursing. We have more than 70 coursing fixtures every year.
It is interesting that, in Spain, people feel a need to dress up animal cruelty as a challenge – a test of manliness and courage.
They think of the event, perversely and misguidedly, as a showdown between man and bull.
Here, hare coursers don't even pretend that the animal they target for their gratification could ever stand up to them.
Bullfighting and bull running may be among the bloodiest cruelties ever devised, but hare coursing surely ranks as the world's most cowardly blood sport.
Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports