The European Parliament rejects the bulls. The majority of the Chamber (with 335 votes in favor, 297 against and 60 abstentions) voted this Wednesday against the Common Agricultural Policy subsidizing “head of cattle whose final destination is the sale for activities related to bullfighting, and are sold directly or through intermediaries “.
The EU agriculture ministers agree that 20% of the direct payments of the future CAP go to “voluntary ecological plans”
The CAP has been one of the ways in which EU money has supported, at least in part, bullfighting, with funding for fighting bull farmers. The European aid has not been distinguishing the agricultural activity to which the funds were destined, but “they have been granted based on the area of land, without taking into account what that land was used for,” say sources from the European Parliament. .
The amendment approved this Wednesday to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), however, runs the risk of remaining a dead letter as happened five years ago after the negotiation that the European Parliament will face with the Council and the European Commission to close the final text of the reform.
“The approved amendment makes it clear that the European Parliament does not support bullfighting and does not want to finance any breeding activities that are directly or indirectly related to bullfighting”, says Equo co-spokesperson Florent Marcellesi: “Now we will be fully mobilized so that this parliamentary victory is maintained in the negotiations between the European Parliament and the European Council. The overwhelming majority of the Spanish and European citizens reject bullfighting. It is time to align the legislation with this social and political reality. In line with its commitment to animal welfare, we call on the coalition government between the PSOE and United We Can to fully support this proposal in the European Council [la reunión de los 27 gobiernos de la UE]”.
Just five years ago, in the previous negotiation of the CAP, the European Parliament also voted against financing bullfighting. Marcellesi calculated then that the subsidies to bullfighting amounted to “about 130 million euros per year. About 200 farmers – of the 1,400 of the Union of Lydian Bullfighters – have received aid”.
Then, the amendment established that practices “that involve the death of the bull” would not be financed because it would suppose “a clear violation of the European agreement for the protection of animals on livestock farms”.
The European Parliament is this week debating its position regarding the Common Agricultural Policy, whose final document will be approved this Friday.
This Tuesday, the Council (the 27 governments) approved theirs after 42 hours of discussion marked by the eco-schemes. According to what was agreed by the EU Agriculture Ministers, 60% of direct payments would be earmarked for basic income for the sustainability of producers and 20% would be reserved for the new eco-schemes, the biggest obstacle in the negotiations .
The eco-schemes is a new payment that the countries will have to offer obligatorily to the producers, although they will be able to decide voluntarily whether to use them or not. In other words, these are additional but optional green requirements that go beyond mandatory conditionality.