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October 28, 2015

European Parliament Votes to End EU Subsidies for Bullfighting Activities

Humane Society International/Europe

  • Fernando Alonso Herrero

Members of the European Parliament have voted in favour of ending EU subsidies to farmers who specifically breed bulls for bullfights. Joanna Swabe, Ph.D., Humane Society International/Europe’s executive director, issued the following statement:

“Bullfighting is a cruel practice that inflicts a great amount of pain and suffering on bulls. While the EU cannot legislate to ban bullfighting, it can stop granting farming subsidies to bull breeders. These subsidies are indirectly helping to keep the cruel practice of bullfighting alive. We applaud the fact that MEPs have sent a clear signal to the European Commission and EU Member States that it is unacceptable for EU funds to be used to finance any part of an industry that involves the torture of sentient animals for public entertainment, even if it is indirectly.”

A majority of MEPs voted in favour of an amendment to a Parliamentary report on the General Budget of the EU for 2016, which was tabled by Estonian MEP Indrek Tarand on behalf of the Greens/EFA group. This amendment demands that “CAP appropriations or any other appropriations from the budget should not be used for the financing of lethal bullfighting activities”.

Within the space of just three days, more than 20,000 EU citizens signed HSI/Europe’s petition to MEPs urging them to support this amendment.

The Parliament’s report will now be sent to the Finance Ministers of the 28 EU Member States, who will have to reach an agreement with the European Parliament with respect to the EU budget for 2016 and whether the budget appropriations may be used to subsidise activities associated with bullfighting.

Media contact: Wendy Higgins whiggins@hsi.org  +44(0)7989 972 423

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