Anti- and pro-bullfighting groups go head to head in Europe

For a Bullfighing-Free Europe with MEPs Raul Romeva, David Hammerstein and Carl Schlyter

For a Bullfighing-Free Europe with MEPs Raul Romeva, David Hammerstein and Carl Schlyter

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.

4 June 2008

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.

Why take the campaign to the EU?

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.”

Convincing the decision-makers

The model bull attracts signatures inside the European Parliament

The model bull attracts signatures inside the European Parliament


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 4 and 5 June 2008.

See a full list of alliance members at the For a Bullfighting-Free Europe website >>

Find out more about WSPA’s campaign against bullfighting, and sign the petition >>

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