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Taking a punt on blood sports

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.

PHILIP KIERNAN

IRISH COUNCIL AGAINST

BLOOD SPORTS

PO BOX 88, MULLINGAR,

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