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Paddy Power directors criticised over bullring bets
05 August 2008

The directors of Paddy Power have been criticised by ICABS for allowing the company to profit from bullring bets involving the removal of bulls' ears. In a letter to the editor published in the Irish Independent, we stated that the directors "should collectively hang their heads in shame".

The full text of the letter appears below. Please scroll down for our ongoing action alerts to Paddy Power.

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Irish Independent Letter to the Editor

Taking a punt on blood sports
2nd August, 2008

The directors of Paddy Power Plc should collectively hang their heads in shame for allowing the company to profit from bullfighting barbarity.

The Spanish section of its website is disgracefully asking punters to wager on the number of ears that will be carved off tormented bulls and presented to matadors as trophies.

All the directors have been informed, through impassioned pleas from Ireland and Spain, that while bets are being cast, bullfighters are proceeding with the torture -- cutting flesh open with lances and impaling muscles with spears. They have been shown sickening photos of matadors holding up severed ears while the victims squirm on the ground.

And to dispel any possible doubts about the cruelty, each has been presented with explicit video footage. In one scene, a grounded bull with blood dripping from its mouth can be seen expending its last ounce of energy to react to the pain of dismemberment.

Perhaps one shouldn't expect much decency or compassion from an industry that thrives on the misery of losers, but few would disagree that inviting bets on body parts really is scraping beneath the bottom of the barrel.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports implores company shareholders to urgently demand that Paddy Power stops courting cruelty and contaminating profits with blood money.


Campaign Postcard - Please order some today to send to the company

Matador preparing to cut off ear of collapsed bull

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has launched a campaign postcard aimed at convincing Paddy Power to "Stop Barbaric Bets". Visitors to the betting company's Spanish website are currently being invited to bet on the number of ears hacked off the heads of bulls that have been tortured in bullrings. Please contact us now to receive postcards for yourself and your friends to send in to the company's head office.

On the "Toros" page of the site, heartless punters are given the opportunity to guess the "Nš total de orejas cortadas en la corrida" ("Total number of ears cut in the bullfight")

In a letter of appeal to Paddy Power, 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?"

Bullfighting is one of the world's worst blood sports and is cruel from beginning to end. Each bullfight involves the slow torture to death of six or more bulls. Horseback riders firstly weaken the bull by stabbing its body with sharp lances. To force it to drop its head, hooked spears are then driven into its neck muscles. The cruelty culminates with a stabbing through the heart with a sword.

Ears are cut from the bulls as grisly trophies for the matadors. The animals will have suffered enormously in the bullring and, if they are still conscious when the ear is cut off, their agony will be even greater.

The Paddy Power company has been made fully aware of the violent horrors of bullfighting. A video sent to their head office shows a bleeding and injured bull - still conscious - lying paralysed on the ground as a bullfighter uses a dagger to carve off one of its ears.


Please urgently contact the CEO of Paddy Power and demand an end to its bullfighting bets. Ask as many of your friends as possible to respond to this action alert and post it on your website and social networking pages.

Patrick Kennedy
Chief Executive
Paddy Power Plc
Airton House
Airton Road
Tallaght, Dublin 24

Tel: 00353 (0)1 404 5900
Fax: 00353 (0)1 404 5901

Sample Letter
(Please compose your own personal letter if possible. If you do not have time to do this, please send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Dear Mr Kennedy,

I am writing to express my absolute disgust that Paddy Power is accepting bets on the number of ears carved off the heads of bulls at Spanish bullfighting events.

Removed after the tortured bulls collapse in agony, the ears are kept by the matadors as grisly trophies. Sometimes the animals are still alive when the ears are hacked off and this can be seen in video footage at

As bets are being placed on the Paddy Power website, bulls are stumbling around 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 - Stop the bloody bullring bets NOW!

Yours sincerely,



Please register your disgust at Paddy Power's barbaric bets. Order some "Stop Barbaric Bets" campaign postcards for yourself and your friends to send in to Paddy Power's head office in Dublin. If you run an animal welfare group, please distribute postcards to your supporters and ask them to urgently send them.

To order cards, please email your name and address to info [AT] or write to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. We would be grateful if you could include a 55c stamp with your order (for every 15 cards requested) to cover postage costs.


Please show your opposition to Paddy Power's appalling Spanish bullring bets by downloading a copy our new Protest Page. Simply print, sign and present to the manager of your local Paddy Power betting shop. Alternatively, place in an envelope and post to the manager.

Download Now (pdf, 190 Kb)

Video: Bullfighting Cruelty in Spain

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