Victory! European Parliment Votes to End Bullfighting Subsidies

For Immediate Release:

28 October 2015


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


Huge Step Forward in the Campaign Waged by PETA and Others Internationally to End Barbaric Bloodsport

London – Corks are popping at the headquarters of PETA affiliates around the world because of the news that an overwhelming 438 out of 687 MEPs today voted in favour of an amendment to stop over €100 million in EU subsidies from being used to support the bloody bullfighting industry. The 2013 report “Toros & Taxes”,compiled by Spanish MEPs, concluded that “[w]ithout such backing [bullfighting] would probably be on the brink of financial collapse”.

PETA, together with other animal-protection groups (particularly in Spain), has been campaigning for years to end these archaic spectacles, in which thousands of bulls are slowly tortured and killed every year. Ahead of the vote, PETA wrote to all MEPs urging them to do the right thing and support Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout’s amendment, and tens of thousands of Europeans joined us by signing our petition or those of our international affiliates. Today, PETA was outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg to ensure that MEPs got the message loud and clear.

“This is a hugely significant decision that could be the final nail in the coffin for Spain’s already struggling bullfighting industry”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “Tormenting bulls for entertainment belongs to the Dark Ages, not the 21st century, and today we’re one giant step closer to relegating this cruel pastime to the dustbin of history.”

During a typical bullfight, men on blindfolded horses drive lances into bulls’ back and neck muscles. This impairs their ability to lift their heads. The men twist and gouge the lances to ensure significant blood loss. Then banderilleros (bullfighters) enter on foot and distract the bulls by plunging banderillas – bright sticks with harpoon points on their ends – into their backs, causing immense pain and further debilitating the animals. The bullfighters finally provoke the exhausted, dying animals and attempt to kill them with a sword. If they miss, an executioner is called in to stab the animals with a dagger. The executioner is supposed to cut the spinal cord, but even this can – and often does – go wrong, leaving the bulls conscious but paralysed as they’re chained by their horns and dragged from the arena. Sometimes, their ears are cut off before they’re dragged away.

There’s no excuse that can justify the torture, mutilation and slaughter of sensitive animals in the name of entertainment.

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