Bullfighting: cruel, outdated, and paid for by us


On Wednesday MEPs have an opportunity to end the use of European funds to support farmers who breed bulls for bullfights. Please ask them to use it.

Bullfighting takes place in a relatively small number of countries across the world including Spain, Portugal, France, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Peru. There are also many bull running or fiesta events, which often lead to the death of the bull. Many countries have banned bullfighting by law, including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Forty thousands bulls are killed for this bloodlust every year in Europe alone. The bulls are abused beforehand and tortured throughout the unfair fight. This barbaric activity is certainly not entertainment and has no place in the 21st century. Traditions should expire as our moral sense evolves. Yet, not only is it going ahead against the wishes of most Europeans, we are paying for it.

The European Union sets an annual budget. This includes an estimated €130 million (£100 million) through Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) payments to Spanish farmers who breed bulls for bullfights. £13.5 million comes from the UK alone, which means our tax is helping to support this barbaric industry.

Last year a proposed budget amendment to stop funding those farmers fell just short of an overall majority. But awareness and opposition continue to increase: 76% of Spanish people are opposed to public subsidies for bullfighting, and only 29% support bullfighting at all.

The EU proclaims its commitment to animal welfare. The European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes is clear: animals should not suffer pain, injury, fear or distress. CAP funding is intended to support farmers producing food. Farmers breeding bulls to be tortured slowly for public display can never comply with these conditions and therefore should not be eligible for agricultural subsidies.

Without European and Spanish funding, this macabre industry would be on the brink of collapse. Only the revenue generated by curious tourists would be propping it up – those misled by travel operators who insist the spectacle is a cultural ‘must see’.

On October 28th, the European Parliament will hold a vote on budget amendment 1437. This small change to the European Union budget would end subsidies from the EU to the bullfighting industry.

Please let your MEPs know you oppose this bloody industry by asking them to vote for this amendment. You can use the League Against Cruel Sports’ form and template letter or find and contact your MEPs direct.

Please avoid any bullfighting events, such as in Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas and the Toro de la Vega, or bull running events, such as Pamplona Bull Run, San Fermin, and the Toro del Fuego.

Please boycott or challenge tourism operators or towns involved in these cruel activities.

Thank you.


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