SNP MEP Backs Calls For EU Bullfighting Ban

04 June 2008
Scottish National Party Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) backed the campaign for an end to bullfighting across the EU.

Bullfighting remains a popular sport in Spain, and Mr Smith has backed the campaign by Spanish animal rights organisations for an end to the practice.

Mr Smith's move comes ahead of a two day seminar in the European Parliament in Brussels organised by Spanish and other EU animal groups to highlight the diversity of opinion in Spain on the topic. The groups brought a white bull to the Parliament for signature by MEPs backing their campaign.

Mr Smith said:

"Bullfighting is an issue which provokes strong emotions, and rightly so. I have no difficulty with animals being killed for food, or pest or vermin control, but to make a sport out of it is beyond the pale. I would ordinarily not voice an opinion on the internal matters of another country but the presentations I have seen on bullfighting are difficult to ignore.

"I have heard allegations of how the bulls are kept without food, water or light for 24 hours before being thrown into the ring dazed and confused, and in effect tortured before being dragged away, often paralysed but still alive, to be butchered.

"The seminar organised by Spanish animal rights groups is well-timed to highlight the diversity of opinion in Spain, and indeed many Spanish friends of mine are against bull fighting. I hope that the Spanish government will take good note of the strength of opinion on this issue."