Jun 10, 2008
Update: As a result of last week's successful anti-bullfighting activity in the EU parliament, 95 MEPs signed the white model bull and over 1,000 parliament staff signed an anti-bullfighting petition. Additionally, Gérard Duprez, a Belgian MEP, retracted his support for the pro-bullfghitng lobby.
The European parliament in Brussels will be hosting lobbyists from both the pro- and anti-bullfighting movements this week, with WSPA and our For a Bullfighting-Free Europe alliance partners arguing that this cruel sport is a dying industry with serious financial problems.
While we present evidence to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the pro-bullfighting lobby will also be working inside the parliament building, promoting the idea that bullfighting is a growing industry, part of Spanish culture and tradition, and trying to justify their current subsidies.
Evidence to the contrary includes low attendance closing all but one bullring in Barcelona and a 2007 poll showing the vast majority of Spaniards have no interest in this blood sport, which kills more than 40,000 bulls a year in horrific conditions and compromises the welfare of many horses.
It is estimated that the European parliament currently pays a subsidy of 220 euros per animal to breeders of fighting bulls, which – along with local subsidies in the bullfighting countries – is keeping the industry alive.
Alyx Dow, WSPA’s International Anti-Bullfighting Officer, comments: “We are keen to show the MEPs that bullfighting is actually a dying industry and they should stop funding this cruelty through EU subsidies.”
Events to be staged this week by the Bullfighting Free Europe alliance – to encourage MEPs to find out more about the many arguments against bullfighting – include:
An information stand in the parliament building where MEPs will be invited to sign a full-size model of a white bull to show support for the anti-bullfighting lobby
A seminar hosted by MEPs and expert speakers including a veterinarian, a Spanish politician and an ecologist.
Additionally, a full information pack for MEPs will be distributed to explain the arguments against this cruel custom.
Brussels will also play host to the International Bullfighting Conference, a meeting for anti-bullfighting groups from across the world, on June 4 and 5 2008.