JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The man behind two new events celebrating Jackson’s Hispanic population has brought controversy with the third.

An online petition to cancel the Mississippi Bullfighting Exhibition scheduled Dec. 7 had nearly 7,900 signatures by midday Saturday.

A California company that stages such events says bulls have Velcro pads over their shoulders and matadors’ throw Velcro-topped banderillas (bahnd-er-EE-yahs).

Jackson promoter Peter Castorena tells The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/1by8lTs ) it’s more humane than a rodeo — bulls won’t even be roped.

Petition creator Kimberly Spiegel of Oxford says it perpetuates what she calls “a cultural practice that is inherently inhumane and exploitative” and causes unnecessary fear and suffering for the bulls.

Castorena’s earlier events were a Cinco de Mayo festival and a Hispanic rodeo.

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