Hereford & Worcester

Ronaldo the bull Wembley parade plan criticised

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Media captionPETA's outcry over Hereford FC's Ronaldo the bull at Wembley

An animal rights group is calling to stop a bull being paraded at Wembley Stadium ahead of the FA Vase final.

The FA granted permission for Hereford FC's mascot, Ronaldo the bull, to walk the stadium before the Morpeth Town game on 22 May.

But PETA has asked the FA's boss "to stop Ronaldo from having to endure the stress and misery of being paraded in front of thousands of screaming fans."

Hereford FC said Ronaldo was used to crowds and his safety was paramount.

Image caption Ronaldo the bull was paraded at the first league game of the season against Dunkirk

PETA campaign coordinator Kirsty Henderson told FA chief executive Martin Glenn, "animals are not props".

"Ronaldo would likely be terrified...which creates a potential risk to spectators and staff at the match," she wrote.

She suggested two fans dressed up as a bull to "promote their team in a manner that avoids all cruelty to animals".

'Nothing unusual'

The FA said if it had any concerns over fans' safety or Ronaldo's welfare they would not have agreed to the parade.

"We are confident of the processes put in place, with the time and consideration taken and the care and attention that will be given to Ronaldo on the day," a spokesman said.

Hereford FC said Ronaldo was regularly paraded in front of crowds and the three-hour journey would be "nothing unusual to him."

He would have an acclimatisation period and a vet would be with him at all times, a spokesman added.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ronaldo was named after Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo

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