EU lawmakers seek funding ban for fighting bulls

October 28, 2015
EU lawmakers have demanded an end to subsidies for farmers raising bulls destined for fights like this one featuring Spain's Fer
EU lawmakers have demanded an end to subsidies for farmers raising bulls destined for fights like this one featuring Spain's Fermin Bohorquez at a Zaragoza bullring on October 18, 2015

EU lawmakers demanded Wednesday that farmers who raise bulls for fighting, as in Spain or southern France, should not get European funding for a blood sport critics say is cruel and archaic.

"Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) appropriations or any other appropriations from the budget should not be used for the financing of lethal bullfighting activities," European Parliament lawmakers said in an amendment to the 2016 EU budget.

MEPs voted by 438 votes to 199 to approve the amendment, which now goes into negotiations between the bloc's 28 member states to finalise next year's budget figures.

This is not the first time such an amendment has been submitted "but it is the first time it has been endorsed," said Michael Schmitt, a political advisor to the Greens who put it on the table.

Animal-rights campaigners welcomed the vote as a step in the right direction.

"While the EU cannot legislate to ban bullfighting, it can stop granting farming subsidies to bull breeders," Humane Society International said in a statement.

"These subsidies are indirectly helping to keep the cruel practice of bullfighting alive," it said.

Defenders of fighting say it has huge cultural importance, embodying traditions dating back hundreds of years, but its popularity has been steadily waning in recent years.

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