- EU ADMITS USING TAXPAYERS CASH TO SUBSIDISE ‘CRUEL’ FUR TRADE
GREEN Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas has called on the EU to stop using taxpayers’ cash to subsidise the cruel and deeply unpopular fur trade.
“Animals bred for fur are often kept in battery cages, receive little veterinary attention and have few opportunities to express their natural behaviour,” said Dr Lucas, an MEP for South-East England and vice-president of the European Parliament’s cross-party animal welfare group.
“Slaughter methods used are often inhumane and cause further suffering to the animals concerned – and this cruel, unnecessary and deeply unpopular trade should not be propped up with taxpayers’ money.”
Dr Lucas made her comments after EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel admitted that the EU was subsidising local fur producers under rural development programmes. No figures for the total level of fur subsidies have yet been published.
“This absolutely beggars belief – the European Commission has itself accepted that fur farms are incompatible with animal welfare, and yet it continues to spend taxpayers’ money on promoting it,” said Dr Lucas, who is also a vice-president of the RSPCA.
“In line with the Commission’s own stated commitment to improving animal welfare standards, the independent decisions of some EU members to ban the trade completely, and overwhelming public opposition, I call on the Commission to stop subsidising any project involving breeding or processing animals for fur.”
She added: “MEPs and animal welfare activists last month celebrated after the EU halted all subsidies to live cattle exporters following a successful campaign by NGOs and in the European Parliament. I hope we are able to repeat our success and force the EU to scrap fur farm subsidies as swiftly.”