Today in Brussels, a delegation from the Spanish Party for the Animals (PACMA) formally submitted a 65,000-signature petition on bullfighting to the president of the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament.

PACMA's president, Silvia Barquero, said that “an overwhelming majority of Spanish citizens rejects this bloodshed”.

The petition, which asks the EU to put an end to Toro de la Vega – the most cruel Spanish bullfighting tradition – was presented at the European Parliament premises by Ms Barquero to the Committee on Petitions' president, Cecilia Wikström, in a meeting co-hosted by GUE/NGL MEPs Stefan Eck, from the Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz, Germany, and Anja Hazekamp, Partij voor de Dieren from the Netherlands.

“Toro de la Vega is a legalised perversion and a shame for Spain and Europe,” said Stefan B. Eck during the preceding press conference. “I respect tradition but no tradition should involve cruelty. I condemn cruelty against humans as much as I condemn cruelty against animals. Every year the EU indirectly supports bullfighting through agriculture subsidies and this must end – it is unacceptable that taxpayers' money be used to support bullfighting.”

“There is no excuse for Europe to turn a blind eye to cruelty to animals,” underlined Anja Hazekamp.

The submission of the Toro de la Vega Petition is the first step in a legislative procedure which could end with an EU ban on the cruel tradition that takes place every year in Tordesillas, Spain.

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