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EU says no to funding for bullfighting

Lawmakers have declared their opposition to subsidies that go to farmers who raise bulls for fighting. Their position reflects growing international criticism of the traditional Spanish sport.

Lawmakers in the European Parliament voted on Wednesday to approve an ammendment to the 2016 EU budget saying subsidies should not go to farms that raise bulls for use in Spanish bullfighting.

The ammendment, which passed with a 438-199 vote, will not take effect until after negotiations between the bloc's 28 members.

Humane Society International's European branch praised the lawmakers' decision.

"We applaud the fact that MEPs have sent a clear signal to the European Commission and EU Member States that it is unacceptable for EU funds to be used to finance any part of an industry that involves the torture of sentient animals for public entertainment," the organization said on its website.

Despite increasing international scrutiny, bullfighting remains an important cultural tradition in Spain. However, the pastime has seen its popularity dwindle domestically as well. Catalonia

recently enacted a ban

on bullfighting, suggesting that the activity was on its way out.

blc/bw (AP, AFP)

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