Animal lovers and agriculture stakeholders today gained a victory in the European Parliament as MEPs voted to end indirect subsidies for bullfighting.
Currently, subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allow Spanish (and some Portuguese and French) farmers to use Single Farm Payment on hectares used to rear bulls used in the fights. An amendment passed today that means the European Parliament has voted against this use, and was followed by an astonishing victory of 438 votes to 199 on the non-binding resolution that says ‘CAP appropriations or any other appropriations from the budget should not be used for the financing of lethal bullfighting activities'.
Alyn Smith, Scotland’s voice on the Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, said:
“Parliament now calls for the eradication of public money boosting the coffers of farmers who raise animals that are destined for a slow, painful and bloody end.
“According to the 2013 report "Toros & Taxes", compiled by Spanish MEPs, without these subsidies, bullfighting ‘would probably be on the brink of financial collapse'.
“Ordinarily, I would say that the internal matters of another country are the business of that country and its people, but it is unacceptable for Scottish taxpayers to subsidise activities which are in flagrant contradiction of our common animal welfare goals.
“Now it’s over to the Member States to back the Parliament, and I call upon DEFRA Minister George Eustice to back us so we can stamp out subsidies for this cruel bloodsport once and for all.”
Alyn ran a petition in 2013 to end bullfighting subsidies, which was submitted to the European Commission after gathering 12,000 signatures.
In 2014, Alyn’s group proposed a budget amendment that would stop farmers from using CAP subsidies for rearing bulls but, despite a majority of MEPs voting in favour, they failed to reach the qualified majority of 376 (50% of all MEPs + 1)