MEP demands end to bullfighting subsidies

Alyn Smith MEP, Scotland’s only member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, has called on his European Parliament colleagues to back a budget amendment this week that will end subsidies for bullfighting.

Currently, subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy allow farmers to use Single Farm Payment on hectares used to rear bulls used in the fights. The amendment, put forward by Alyn’s group in the European Parliament will be voted upon on Wednesday at plenary in Strasbourg. 

Last year, Alyn’s petition to end bullfighting subsidies was submitted to the European Commission after gathering 12,000 signatures and Alyn has continued the pressure. Alyn has been recognised for his work on animal welfare and is both the honorary Vice President of the SSPCA and an honorary associate member of the British Veterinary Association.

Alyn said:

“Bullfighting is a barbaric practice. I would normally say that the internal matters of another country are the business of that country and its people but forty thousand bulls are killed for this bloodlust every year and it is unacceptable to have public money boost the coffers of people who rear cattle just so they can be tortured to death. We're talking about public money supplied from the pockets of citizens across Europe. 

“There is no reason why European taxpayers should continue to subsidise activities which are in flagrant contradiction of our common animal welfare goals – even through such an indirect manner as Single Farm Payment.

“My petition showed that this issue touched the conscience of citizens throughout Europe. Agricultural subsidies should be used to help farmers produce food, not to satisfy an outdated and abhorrent animal sacrifice."