EU funds continue to be used to subsidise the bullfighting industry in Spain, according to a new report by ERC/Catalonia Sí, which was presented in the European Parliament today by MEPs from the Greens/EFA group (1). The report suggests that bullfighting would be unviable without subsidies. Acting on this, Greens/EFA MEPs have joined with MEPs from other political groups in writing to EU agriculture commissioner Ciolos, calling on him to end EU subsidies for bullfighting (2). Commenting at the press conference, Greens/EFA MEP Raül Romeva (Catalonia) said:
"It is unacceptable that EU funds continue to be used to prop up this brutal practice, which flies in the face of EU commitments on animal welfare. This report makes clear that bullfighting would not be financially viable without subsidies, with public interest and support seriously waning. Given EU funds of at least €130 million per year - and probably much more - continue to be channeled to the bullfighting industry, it is clear that this is also a question for the EU and the Commission must stop trying to duck responsibility for the issue."
Greens/EFA MEP Ana Miranda (Galicia) added:
"Using European taxpayers' funds to subsidise bullfighting cannot continue to be justified at a time of crisis and fiscal cutbacks. The EU's Common Agricultural Policy is supposed to be used promote sustainable food production, environmental protection, viable rural life and animal welfare. It is clear that the estimated minimum of €130 million per year in direct payments under the CAP to bull breeders supplying the bullfighting industry in Spain is totally inconsistent with the stated aim of CAP. The European Commission needs to identify all the EU funding (both direct and indirect) under the CAP and other EU funding programmes that subsidise bullfighting and bring an end them."
(1) Click to access the study
(2) Click to access the letter