SNP Member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Alyn Smith has today (Monday) expressed his disappointment as a budget amendment to end the indirect EU subsidy of bullfighting was defeated in a vote on the EU budget.
Alyn had put down the amendment along with group colleagues in order to push for an end to the indirect subsidy of bull production in Spain, estimated to be worth some EUR 130 million to the bullfighting industry, but numbers are difficult to ascertain given the bulls are often diverted to the ring at the last minute.
"Today's vote is disappointing, but I'll confess it is no surprise. We sought to achieve a policy outcome via the budgetary process, so while it was worth a shot it was always going to be a big ask.
"But that doesn't make it wrong. It is for me unconscionable that EU money is going, however indirectly, to subsidise bullfights in Spain. I find bullfighting an abhorrent practice and I'm glad to see that various parts of Spain are shutting it down, but while the continuance of bullfighting is a matter for the Spanish, the fact that EU funds are going to prop it up is something I can do something about.
"I have been delighted at the success of the petition on my website www.alynsmith.eu to end this practice, and we will not go away. We did not win today, but I do think the writing is on the wall for these subsidies."