Should breeders of bulls for fighting receive EU subsidies?

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Should breeders of bulls for fighting receive EU subsidies?
Photo: Piermario E - Unsplash

EURACTIV France has published an investigation into the industry of breeding bulls for fighting, examining the debate around whether these farmers should continue to be eligible for subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). 

According to the Unión de Criadores de Toros de Lidia, a group which represents 54% of European breeders of bulls for fighting, the industry receives almost €200 million per year of CAP subsidies.

This issue has caused particular controversy in France, where politicians have for decades been working in opposition to EU support for this type of industry. However, politicians such as MEP Yonous Omarjeen of the EU Parliament’s Left group, have acknowledged that there is no way to ban the practice on a European level since it is a state responsibility. However, he does argue that it’s possible to stop the EU subsidies that farmers currently receive. 

In fact on two previous occasions, in 2014 and 2020, the European Parliament supported ending subsidies for these farms. However, the member states in the EU council rejected the amendments. Unsurprisingly, Spain, France and Portugal joined together in opposition to the idea. 

Many farmers have questioned why their industry should be treated differently, given that they fully respect the EU’s environmental policy. They add that the animals are treated of a very high standard from a welfare perspective. Recent announcements indicate that the funding for this type of farming will be continued until at least 2027.


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