On Wednesday the European Parliament voted against financing part of the bullfighting industry with public funding in a strong showing against the Spanish sport.
The EU has not been directly involved in the funding of bullfighting however the Common Agricultural Policy receives subsidies and a percentage of those can go toward the breeding of bulls specifically for the sport.
Florent Marcellesi of the European Greens who promoted the initiative said, “This is a great victory. European citizens no longer want to subsidise anything that involves killing animals.”
However, Marcellesi estimated that bull breeders still receive €130 million a year out of the European budget. The vote is not enough to curb that figure and the chamber has to have its decision backed by the European Council which is comprised of the government leaders of EU members. Following that, the changes which have been voted on in parliament will also need new changes in agricultural policy regulations.
In an amendment to the 2016 budget the EU´s agricultural policy now ‘should not be used for the financing of lethal bullfighting activities.’ The EU states that any variation on this amendment would be ‘a clear violation of the European convention on animal protection’ at cattle farms.
Subsidies for farming and cattle are awarded based on the land surface as reported by owners, without considering what type of agricultural activity goes on in each particular space.
The approval necessary for the newly approved amendment means it will not come into effect in time for the 2016 budget.