Major EU victory in fight against bullfighting
28 October 2015
"This is a beautiful day for all Europeans who ask for better treatment of animals." - the words of delighted Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout (Greens/European Free Alliance) whose anti-bullfighting amendment secured the support of a majority in the European Parliament this morning (Wednesday, 28th October).
438 out of 687 MEPs voted in favour of the EU Budget Amendment to stop an estimated €150 million of EU subsidies to breeders of bulls used in bullfighting in Spain, Portugal and France. It's a major blow to bullfighting and one which will hopefully hasten its demise.
This is a huge victory for animal welfare groups around the world, including the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, which have been campaigning to stop the shameful use of European taxpayers' money for this most barbaric and evil bloodsport.
The bullfighting mafia have wielded their power and influence on the EU for years, and were successful in maintaining the EU subsidies for their horrific cruelty. When members of ICABS were in the European Parliament a few years ago, trying, along with other anti-bullfighting groups, to persuade MEPs to stop the subsidies, the bullfighters had taken over a huge space in the EU building, where they were plying MEPs with free food, wine and goodie bags. But their influence has cleared waned - just like their cruel bloodsport which continues to experience falling attendances, lack of sponsors, numerous travel agents rejecting it and growing international opposition.
ICABS is currently awaiting details of the names of the MEPs who voted in favour of this historic amendment to the 2016 EU Budget. We had pledges of support from Irish MEPs Matt Carthy, Nessa Childers, Marian Harkin and Luke Ming Flanagan. Last year, other Irish MEPs who supported a similar amendment were Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada.
We understand that before the amendment becomes law and the subsidies are abolished, it requires the final approval of EU finance ministers. More details to follow.
Shame on the three Fine Gael MEPs who voted against an EU Budget Amendment aimed at ending massive subsidies to breeders of bulls slowly tortured to death in bullrings.
The three MEPs - Deirdre Clune, Sean Kelly and Mairead McGuinness - disgracefully voted against the amendment despite being well aware of the appalling suffering inflicted on bulls in the blood-soaked bullrings of Spain, Portugal and France.
MEPs Clune, Kelly and McGuinness last year abstained in a similar vote and this week decided to actually vote against the latest anti-bullfighting amendment.
As it turned out, their shameful stance did not affect the final outcome - the amendment was passed with an overwhelming majority - For 438 (64%), Against 199 (29%), Abstentions 50 (7%).
Amendment 22 states that "any appropriations from the budget should not be used for the financing of lethal bull fighting activities...such funding is a clear violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes (Council Directive 98/58/EC)". Every year, an estimated €150 million of taxpayers money has been handed over to the bullfighting industry but thanks to this European Parliament vote, this finally looks set to stop.
A big thank you to the Irish MEPs who did us proud and voted in favour of this historic amendment. They are:
Lynn Boylan, MEP
Matt Carthy, MEP
Nessa Childers, MEP
Luke Ming Flanagan, MEP
Marian Harkin, MEP
Liadh Ni Riada, MEP
and Brian Hayes, MEP (Fine Gael's Brian Hayes last year abstained but this year admirably rebelled and voted in favour)
Absent from the vote, due to medical reasons, was Brian Crowley, MEP.
Thank you also to all three Northern Ireland MEPs - Martina Anderson, Diane Dodds and James Nicholson - who voted in favour of the amendment.
In the UK, Paul Nuttall (United Kingdom Independence Party) stands alone in being the one and only MEP (out of 73) who shamefully voted against the amendment.
The vote results may be viewed online at
Ask the three Fine Gael MEPs why they shamefully voted against the anti-bullfighting amendment.
If you would like to send Bas a message of thanks and congratulations, his contact details are
Sign and share anti-bullfighting petitions
Spanish Tourism - Stop promoting cruel bullfighting
"Ticketmaster: Stop selling bullfighting tickets"
Stop selling bullfighting tickets
About.com: Stop publicising cruel bullfighting events
Fodors Travel Guides: Stop directing tourists to bullrings
If you choose to holiday in a bullfighting country (Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela), please do not visit bullfighting arenas or museums. Avoid purchasing any bullfight-related souvenirs. Join the international campaign against bullfighting. Please register your opposition to this horrific blood sport with the governments and political representatives of bullfighting countries as well as to the local Ambassadors.
Contact the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland, or your country of residence, to register opposition to bullfighting. Express your desire to see bullfighting banned throughout all of Spain.
The Spanish Ambassador to Ireland
Embassy of Spain
17A Merlyn Park, Dublin 4.
Tel 1: +353 (0)1 2691640 or +353 (0)1 2692597
Videos: The cruelty of bullfighting
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