ANIMAL welfare protesters asked Swindon shoppers to take the bull by the horns by encouraging them to take part in a special run in Pamplona, Spain on July 5.

The fifth annual Running of Nudes has been organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as the humane alternative to the Running of the Bulls and the bullfights that follow.

The Running of the Bulls is an annual event when bulls are let loose in the town's narrow streets to run the short distance to the bull ring. They are joined by thousands of people.

But animal rights campaigners believe the event is cruel.

Gabriella Samu and Kristy Hodgson, together with a man dressed in a bull costume, showed video footage of bullfights and the Running of the Nudes when they set up a recruitment table in Regent Street on Tuesday.

Last year more than 600 people representing 20 countries took part in the event and organisers are expecting in excess of 1,000 people this time around.

And Swindon residents are being urged to sign up to the naked peaceful protest by 26-year-old Anish Harrison, who took part in the nude run two years ago.

"I have always been concerned with animal welfare and opposed to things like fox hunting, but I find bull fighting really repulsive," said Anish.

"They put laxatives in the bulls' food, put sand bags on them to weigh them down and also drug them so they don't know what they are doing.

"But the Running of the Nudes is really good fun and I would urge as many people as possible to get involved.

"It is also held in a really beautiful part of Spain."

PETA's visit to Swindon was one of six recruitment events held throughout the south of England.

"Tormenting and butchering animals for entertainment is something straight out of the Dark Ages," said PETA's Lauren Bowey.

"We're asking Britons from all walks of life to join our Running of the Nudes and help put an end to the ugly tradition of bloody bullfights."

For information and to see video footage of past events log onto: