On 20 November 2020, Austrian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Harald Vilimsky of the Identity and Democracy Group posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:
“Inconsistencies remain under the new CAP, prompting fears that the breeding and rearing of bulls for bullfighting will continue to be subsidised, albeit by exploiting loopholes.
1. How much EU funding has been provided to date to support the breeding and rearing of bulls for bullfighting?
2. In so far as the breeding and rearing of bulls for bullfighting is now excluded under the new CAP, how can the Commission check that Spanish farmers do not use EU funds for that purpose, and does the Commission not agree that it would be of great interest to publish details of the use made of EU funds for Spanish farmers in order to ensure that the breeding and rearing of bulls for bullfighting is not subsidised?
3. Does the Commission not find it questionable that Spain has been working gradually since as long ago as 2010 to abolish bullfighting, but that the European Union has to date been indirectly funding it in part?”
On 25 January 2021, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski responded on behalf of the European Commission stating:
“1. In the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) framework, there is no EU aid designed to support the breeding of bulls for fighting. However, it cannot be excluded that bull breeders might benefit from direct payments, provided they meet the related eligibility conditions in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013. The final use of the supported animals is not included under these eligibility conditions.
Thus, data collected by the Commission on CAP beneficiaries in line with the existing legal framework does not allow for classification based on the final use of the supported animals.
2. The Commission intends to ensure a correct and timely implementation of the new CAP framework, which is presently negotiated between the European Parliament and the Council. These negotiations will of course include all amendments brought forward by the two co-legislators.
In line with the Union’s transparency rules, details of funding in accordance with the CAP Regulation are already published by the Spanish authorities.
3. The Commission is aware that the perception of European citizens regarding animal welfare is changing. This change is reflected in Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). Bullfighting is considered a cultural tradition and part of regional heritage, and therefore not under the scope of Council Regulation (EC) 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing.”
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/bullfight-toreador-arenas-beaucaire-1957719/