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European Parliament votes for the end of subsidies to bullfighting

Thursday, October 29th 2015


Santuario Wings of Heart
Bull and cow rescued by Santuario Wings of Heart © CAS International

On Wednesday October 28, the European Parliament voted in favor of the end to European subsidies that flow to the bullfighting industry. Through the European Union’s agricultural subsidies the European citizens are financially contributing to bullfighting and other cruel events with bulls. CAS is overjoyed with the positioning of the European Parliament against the subsidization of one of the most cruel forms of entertainment in Europe.

The European Parliament met to vote on the agricultural budget for 2016. The subsidies that are allocated to farmers are part of this budget. An important part – 130 million Euros at least, but possibly 180 million - of these subsidies end up at breeders of bulls that are used specifically for bullfights and cruel events with bulls. In almost all the countries of the European Union bullfighting and cruel events with bulls are prohibited, though these countries still contribute to the breeding of these bulls. Bas Eickhout, MEP for the Dutch green political party GroenLinks, presented an amendment to end the subsidization of bullfighting back in 2014. At that time, more than half of the MEP’s voted against these subsidies, yet there were not enough votes in favor to accept the amendment. Bas Eickhout and The Greens, again, presented an amendment when the budget for 2016 was put to the vote, and this time the amendment was accepted: 438 MEP’s voted in favor of the amendment, 199 against and there were 50 abstentions. The proposition of Eickhout pleaded not to use subsidies for the breeding of bulls that are used in bullfights. In his motivation Eickhout used the guideline for the protection of animals for stock farming, stating that animals should be spared pain, injuries, fear and other types of suffering.

The influence of the European Parliament is a subject we have been focusing on for a longer time: back in 2007 we already visited the European Parliament. In this year CAS, together with the European Green and several sister organizations, organized a seminar against bullfighting at the European Parliament. On July 4, 2013, the Dutch Parliament unanimously decided that the subsidies to bullfighting should be terminated, following a proposal by the Party for the Animals supported by CAS International. Read more about the vote at the Dutch Lower House (Tweede Kamer) here. Aside from this, CAS International works together with our French sister organization CRAC Europe, lobbying for an end to the subsidies from the European Union. We also helped to spread the petition of the European Greens through our website and social media channels. Finally, almost 30,000 people signed this petition! We would like to thank everybody who signed and shared the petition! We also helped PiepVandaag.nl to film undercover during the cruel event Toro de la Vega in Tordesillas in order to make a documentary. PiepVandaag.nl recently published this documentary, in which is stated that European subsidies are used to pay for these types of events (the spoken language is Dutch, it will soon be published with English subtitles).

The next step will be the European Ministers of Finance taking a position on the European subsidies that end up at the bullfighting sector. Later on, they will, together with the European Parliament, have to come to an agreement about the budget for 2016. Please keep an eye on our website for recent news about the European subsidization of bullfighting.


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