During the first week of June 08, a coalition of 25 anti-corrida groups, from Portugal, Spain, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Germany, Holland, Britain, Ireland, and Switzerland, at the initiative of the Dutch organisation CAS, presented their arguments to MEPs in Brussels, revealing that the bullfight is in decline with serious financial problems, only surviving because of European subsidies.

At the same time, the pro-bullfight lobby attempted to prove to the European parliament that the corrida is a flourishing business and an inherent part of Spanish cultural tradition.

European subsidies to bull breeders are estimated at 220 euros per animal, and to these are added the subsidies applicable in each bullfighting country.

In 90% of France, the bullfight is prohibited and severely punished as “acts of cruelty or serious torture of animals” under Article 521-1 of the Penal Code. It only survives thanks to “an exception of tolerance” contrary to the very spirit of a single indivisible Republic.

This collective of national and international animal protection organisations joined with the European Green Group with the aim of achieving « A Bullfight-Free Europe ».

On the agenda:

An information stand in the Parliament itself, from 2 to 6 June, where MEPs were invited to sign their support on a life-size white bull, a
full information pack for all MEPs, setting out the counter-arguments to those presented by the bullfight lobby, a seminar chaired by Caroline Lucas MEP, with David Hammerstein MEP and Carl Schlyter MEP, included a panel of experts, with a vet, a Spanish parliamentarian and an ecologist. A reception with photo call for the participants and supporters on the Luxembourg Square outside the Parliament completed the day.

~ The Second Anti-Bullfight World Summit also took place in Brussels on 4- 5 June 08.

Over the two days, 90 MEPs signed up to denounce the bullfight. They promised to continue the struggle in all areas, especially the public subsidies given to bull breeders.

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Many thanks for this to CRAC and FLAC, members of the European Movement for the Abolition of Bullfighting and to Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for SE England.

Dr Lucas commented: “The European Union is founded on core values to which all Member states should adhere – and animal protection is one of them. As such, there is no place in a 21st century Europe for blood sports which inflict unnecessary suffering on the animals involved.”

The open seminar on bullfighting in Europe has been organised by Green MEPs working with a range of European animal welfare organisations.

For more information on the work of Dr Lucas MEP, please contact Melissa Freeman on carolinepress@greenmeps.org.uk

See also www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk