MEP: Madrid overturning Catalonia bullfighting ban is disappointing

The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals met during March Plenary in Strasbourg to discuss the welfare of animals at the time of slaughter. The presenters outlined some of the persisting problems and highlighted opportunities for better enforcement of existing EU legislation and initiatives leading to an improvement of legislation, both at national and EU level.

Corrida disgrace

Francisco Javier Sánchez Vara, who’s standing in “desplante”—an act of defiance. Because the bull is so near death, Vara is able to rest in its path with impunity.

Virginia Iniesta, the vice-president of AVATMA, the Spanish association of veterinarians against bullfighting and animal abuse, gave a presentation on “Slaughter of animals without prior stunning”. European legislation requires that all animals killed for human consumption should be unconscious at the time of death to prevent avoidable suffering.

Slaughter without stunning is also practiced in bullfighting, using the exception based on cultural traditions. During the bullfight, the use of several instruments causes deep wounds, significant bleeding, intense suffering and painful death. Virginia Iniesta concluded: “It is unacceptable that in an advanced society legal exceptions still exist that cause suffering to animals where it could be avoided.

Jacqueline FOSTER, MEP (UK, ECR) shares her views of bullfighting, and evolution of views of societies of what is acceptable towards animals. Can bullfighting be considered a ‘cultural tradition’?

“May be 900 years, or 600 years ago, a country would get away with that as an excuse (cultural tradition – ed), but last year Catalonia outlawed bullfighting, and disappointing result was, that the Constitutional Court in Madrid overturned that decision” – Jacqueline FOSTER said. However she believes that corrida‘s days are numbered, because in digital age a culture of respect of animal realm is spreading fast, and young generation of Europeans are conscious of animal welfare, they will not blindly follow the traditions of their forefathers, but embrace the norms of respect of animals of nowadays.



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