STA Travel stops selling tours to Running of the Bulls following audit of 'unethical excursions'

Student travel firm discontinues promotion of the controversial bull running in Pamplona, Spain, amid calls for the event to be scrapped

International tour agency STA Travel has confirmed that it will no longer sell trips to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

The travel firm, which issues worldwide flights and expeditions to two million passengers each year, said it has discontinued tours to the San Fermin Festival with immediate effect.

Animal rights groups have claimed that the event amounts to nothing more than torture, with bulls raced and fought for fun in public before being slaughtered.

The move by STA Travel follows that of Thomas Cook and Brittany Ferries, who announced in September that they would cease marketing the event, while EasyJet pledged to stop promoting it in 2011.

A statement from STA Travel says that it is committed to ensuring that its products are “ethical, safe and of high quality” and that it had conducted a full and sweeping audit of its tours that involve contact with animals.

“STA Travel is committed to delivering good practice in animal protection and welfare in our products, and we take our customers concerns seriously,” the firm said.

The pulling of its excursions to the bull running event in Pamplona follows the company’s removal of its tours to the Tiger Temple in Thailand and SeaWorld in Orlando and San Diego.

The latest move was welcomed by animal charities including the League Against Cruel Sports.

Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League, said: “We commend STA Travel for acting on compassion and ceasing its support of this abhorrent bull running festival.  

“Bull running and bullfighting are sickeningly cruel and barbaric practices, with no place in a modern society.”

STA Travel, which has 240 branches around the world, said earlier this year that it is constantly assessing its products to make sure that they align with its social responsibilities and the animal welfare guidelines laid out by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

It has also ended tours to a lion research project in Zambia and elephant riding.

Kathryn Kirkpatrick, STA's social responsibility programme manager, told The Guardian: “We are constantly assessing our products to make sure they are of a high quality and responsible.

“We take this seriously and listen carefully to feedback from animal welfare experts, customers and staff. If something isn't up to our standards, we remove it.

“We are very much at the beginning of this journey. It is really important we do it over time, understand what the issues are and work with organisations that really understand those issues.”

A British man is in a critical condition after being injured in this year’s festival, it has been revealed.

The unnamed 23-year-old sustained chest injuries and rib fractures after taking part in the running.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and Spanish animal welfare organisation AnimaNaturalis staged a protest against the event a day before it commenced.

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Travel
travel
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
arts + entsBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
people
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Hydraulic Power Pack Design Engineer

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I recruit for contract mechanical design...

SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

SCO Supervisor Electrical

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client based in the Midlands is looki...

Ecommerce Executive

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Ecommerce Executive Working with an...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices