Response on bullfighting

As you may know, fighting bull breeders currently receive subsidies which are paid via the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); the Greens-EFA Group in the European Parliament fully disagree with this practice. Molly is dismayed that the EU is still complicit in funding the bullfighting trade, and she shares your concern about it. Further, in her role as member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in the European Parliament, Molly considers that bullfighting is a failing business, being propped up by EU farming subsidies. The EU must immediately redirect this money towards sustainable, smaller-scale agriculture which produces quality affordable food.

The Greens have consistently argued that no EU money should be used to subsidise this cruel and archaic practice. Last October, in the vote on the EU budget for 2015, our Green colleague Bas Eickhout tabled two amendments to stop the EU from funding bull-fighting, and calling for the beef premium paid out under the CAP not to be used to pay for bulls that would be hurt or killed in bullfighting practices. Unfortunately, despite a very close vote with more votes in favour than against, sadly it didn’t reach an absolute majority of 377 which was needed. The final tally was 323 MEPs voting for and 309 against; 58 abstained.

Now that this year’s vote on the EU budget for 2016 has come around, Bas has again tabled amendments on behalf of the entire Greens-EFA group, arguing that no part of the EU budget should be used to finance bullfighting activities. Molly has co-signed in support, and will be present at next week’s plenary to vote alongside Bas.

As you may be aware, the EU has no formal powers to protect animals other than in relation to farm animals, trade and those used in experiments. The European Commission currently classes bullfighting as a ‘cultural activity’ and argues that any ban must be implemented at national level. We Greens in the European Parliament disagree that there is anything ‘cultural’ about such cruelty, and will continue to press for all animals to be covered by the EU’s animal protection measures.

We have started a petition to raise the issue again – it’s available to view, sign and share. 

Please be assured that Molly and the Greens will continue to campaign for a ban on bullfighting and on EU subsidies for this activity, and we will take every opportunity to push for these amendments. There is no place in 21st century Europe for blood sports which inflict such unnecessary suffering on the animals involved.

For further information, you may wish to read a widely-read report on bull-fighting and EU subsidies, Toros and Taxes.