Bardot Lends Support to Irish Hare Coursing Ban

French animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot recently sent a letter to the Irish Council Against Blood Sports supporting that group’s campaign to ban hare coursing in Ireland.

Hare coursing is the practice of releasing a hare and allowing two dogs, usually greyhounds, to chase it down. Along with the animals killed, activists also complain that even hares that survive are terrified and traumatized in the process.

Northern Ireland has temporarily halted hare coursing, but it is still legal in the Irish Republic and the government there has said it has no intention of changing the law to ban hare coursing.

Dick Roche, Environment Minister for the Irish Republic, was quoted by Ireland On-Line as saying,

There is no evidence that hare coursing in Ireland adversely impacts on the conservation of hare populations and there are no proposals to change existing arrangements for the licensed netting of wild hares for live hare coursing.

Which, of course, means that hare coursers in Northern Ireland can simply conduct their hare coursing in the Irish Republic, which doesn’t make the ICABS very happy.


Bardot lends support to hare coursing ban. Ireland On-Line, January 19, 2005.

WWF Gets Grief Over its Seal Cull Support

The World Wildlife Fund has been getting a lot of grief from the usual suspects of late over its support over a Canadian plan to kill about a million seals over the next three years.

In 1970 there were only about 1.8 million harp seals in the North Atlantic, but today there are believed to be around 5.2 million. Saying that the seal population is now healthy, Canada authorized an expansion of seal hunting.

Hunters will be allowed to kill a total of 975,000 seals over the next three years, with a maximum in any given year of 350,000 seals. The Canadian government argues that the seal cull helps protect fish stocks as well as provide jobs.

But the announcement angered animal rights activists such as Brigitte Bardot (and when you’ve got a has-been actress opposing you, your options are really limited). Bardot wrote a letter to the World Wildlife Fund, which supports the plan, saying,

How can an organization that you preside over and that has no need to prove its reputation in the domain of the conservation of species anymore, defend such a scandalous position.

. . .

I have often supported WWF, given my image to some of its programmes, and I feel betrayed, it has attacked my most symbolic battle.

Similarly, the International Fund for Animal Welfare complained that the Canadian government planned to “devastate seal populations.” An IFAW press release quoted its president, Fred O’Regan, as saying,

The Canadian government has just returned to the 1800s in terms of animal welfare and conservation. Their decision raises a host of questions: Where is the scientific justification for killing so many seals? How will the government safeguard a much larger hunt against cruelty? Where are the markets for the pelts?

Meanwhile the World Wildlife Fund – Canada responded to criticism by saying that although it disagrees with the Canadian government’s position that seals are endangering fish stocks,

As long as the commercial hunt for harp seals off the coast of Canada is of no threat to the population of over 5 million harp seals, there is no biological reason for WWF-Canada to reconsider its current priorities and actively oppose the annual harvest of harp seals.

We were in contact with Canadian government officials before they set the new quota. Our ongoing conservation concern has been that the commercial hunt for harp seals should never endanger the population. We believe harp seals should thrive in the Atlantic Ocean around the Canadian coast, now and in the future.


Bardot slams WWF over seal cull. AAP, March 18, 2003.

Canada expands seal cull as environmentalists fume. Reuters, February 4, 2003.

Canada to Unveil Massive Seal Cull Plan. Press Release, International Fund for Animal Welfare, January 28, 2003.

Bardot Wants France to Guarantee Animal Rights

A small item in British newspaper The Independent reported that,

Brigitte Bardot has written to the French Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, requesting the incorporation of animal rights legislation to the French constitution. In the letter, the actress say that just as France voted in 1789 for the declaration of human rights, it should add a similar declaration in 2002 for animals. The actress’s animal rights foundation has offered to help draw up a law.

Of course the immediate outcome of the French revolution was tyranny, as would be the outcome of a Declaration of Animal Rights.


People: Bardot steps up animal campaign. The Independent (London), June 26, 2002.

Brigitte Bardot Fined for Racist Remarks

Prominent animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot was recently fined 30,000 francs by a French court for comments she made in a recent book, “Pluto’s Square.” In the book, Bardot complains about the large number of Muslim immigrants in France and especially the ritual slaughter of sheep during a Muslim religious festival.

In the book, Bardot complains that “…my country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims.”

France, like many European countries, has laws against inciting racial hatred, and this is the third time that Bardot has been convicted of such an offense.

On the one hand, such laws are in and of themselves barbaric, and have done little to stem the tide of racial hatred in Europe. Even idiot xenophobes such as Bardot should have the right to speak freely without facing the sanction of the state.

On the other hand, Bardot’s latest episode demonstrates just what a dogmatic, intolerant group animal rights activists can be. Apparently Bardot can muster overwhelming empathy for sheep but can only think of Muslim immigrants in euphemistic terms such as “invaders.”

The reader might think that animal rights groups and individuals would want to put as much distance between themselves and Bardot as possible, but despite her repeated racist remarks there has been no flurry of press releases from animal rights group and prominent activists denouncing Bardot (this from activists who fire off press releases at the drop of a hat).

Apparently the drawing power of a bigoted has-been sex symbol is just too much to resist.


Bardot fined for racist remarks. BBC News, June 16, 2000.

New Russian President Rejects Animal Protection Bill

Russia’s Acting President,
Vladimir Putin, was in office less than a week when on January 6 he vetoed
an bill passed by the Russian Duma and the Russian Federation Council
designed by its advocates to prevent animal cruelty. The bill would have
made it illegal to use certain species of animal for food and fur, banned
the harming of animals in the making of films and television programs,
and mandated sterilization/contraception for pets according to a press
release from the Human Society of the United States.

What ultimately killed the
bill, however, were provisions which the Russian fur industry feared would
put a halt to the hunting of seals for furs. Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency
quoted spokespersons for the governors of Russia’s Arkhangelsk region
as urging rejection of the bill to protect that area’s fur industry. “More
than a thousand people involved in the hunting and skinning of seals will
lose their jobs in villages in the Arkhangelsk region,” the spokeswoman
said. “Big losses will be experienced in the fur industry and this may
lead to a mass exodus from the northern polar areas.”

According to Reuters, furs
are relatively common in Russia where the winters are extremely cold.
In the northern regions, for example, temperatures can fall below minus
30 degrees centigrade.

In an odd postscript to Putin’s
veto, the acting president sent a gushing email to animal rights activist
Brigitte Bardot who had urged Russia to pas the bill. No word of a response
from Bardot who has a habit to making extremely disparaging, often ethnocentric
comments about nations that fail to follow her policy recommendations.

It will be interesting to see
how well the animal rights movement fares outside of Western nations.
In the United States and Europe, the animal rights movement tries to piggyback
on highly influential and, in some cases, centuries old philosophical
movements interested in rights issues. Whether or not the animal rights
argument will be able to find a similar cache outside of the industrial
West remains to be seen.


Arctic leaders oppose Russian animal rights bill. Reuters, December 23,

No revolution for Russia’s animals. Humane Society of the United States
press release, January 7, 2000.