EU Votes to Cut Subsidies for Bullfighting in Spain
Interest in bullfighting has been on such a steady decline that some parts of Spain have outright banned the tradition, such as Catalonia in 2011, while others, such as Villafranca de los Caballeros, have used the subsidy it received specifically for bullfighting on books instead.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),
“Government handouts are the only thing keeping this cruel ‘tradition’ alive.”
If that is in fact the case, there is good news on this front of animal rights activism. On Wednesday, a large majority–438 countries, out of 687 members of the European Parliament, voted against providing Spain with a $110 million agricultural subsidy that it is given annually for the raising of bulls meant for bullfighting.
The 438 countries were specifically voting in favour of making an amendment to the 2016 European Union budget, which clearly states that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds should not be used to finance “lethal bullfighting activities”, and that any funding would actually become a “clear violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes.” Animal rights supporters were cheering as the vote came in, meaning CAP subsidies can no longer be used in areas where bulls are being bred for bullfighting.
The importance of the vote was made clear by PETA director Mimi Bekhechi:
“This is a hugely significant decision that could be the final nail in the coffin for Spain’s already struggling bullfighting industry.”
The next step for the approval of the European Union General Budget for 2016 is the final committee phase where members of both the Parliament and European Commission can object and attempt to remove any elements they disagree with.
While this will result in a big change in Spain, the amendment was written without any inclusion of cutting the funding of bullfighting in Portugal–most likely since the bull is not actually killed in this case.
Photo Credit: http://www.vettiguy.com/