The 2021 budget plans were adopted in the European Parliament only last week. The Greens/EFA Group tabled an amendment to Section III – Commission, concerning payments in accordance with Title III, Chapter 1 of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 — an amendment which would preclude the use of such payments to support the breeding or rearing of bulls for bullfighting.
On 16 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.
MEP Vilimsky asked the Commission “what amount has been provided annually to support the breeding or rearing of bulls for bullfighting?”
“The new CAP also shows some inconsistencies and there are fears that the breeding and rearing of bulls for bullfighting will continue to be subsidised” added MEP Vilimsky and asked the Commission “how does it intend to ensure that this is no longer subsidised?”
On 14 December, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski responded on behalf of the European Commission and reported that “under the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) framework, there is no aid designed to support the breeding of bulls for fighting”.
Commissioner Wojciechowski stated that “since the 2003 reform, farmers can get direct payments irrespective of production or destination of the product, as the vast majority of payments are decoupled” and “though it is not excluded that bull breeders can be supported through the granting of voluntary coupled support, the final use of the supported animals is not governed by EU rules”. He further explained that “similarly, under the new CAP framework, the Commission has not proposed a specific aid for bulls bred for bullfighting”.
Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski underlined that “Member States will have to set up a CAP strategic plan, on the basis of their SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis and needs assessment” and “in that framework, Member States may decide to grant coupled income support to genuine farmers in the ‘beef and veal’ sector, with the view to address the difficulties undergone by improving their competitiveness, sustainability or quality”.
He further clarified that “the corresponding interventions will have to be described and justified in the CAP plan that will be subject to the Commission approval” and “as specified in the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Staff Working Document on analysis of links between the CAP reform and the Green Deal, the Commission will strictly assess any proposal for coupled support from the perspective of the need for overall sustainability”.
Finally, Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski declared that “it is also important to recall that the Commission has no competence to take initiatives in relation to the matter of bullfighting in the Member States concerned, as bullfighting is out of the scope of the Union legislation on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing”.
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/bull-fighting-spain-torero-3606156/