Leave those seals alone, Bardot urges Canada

15th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 14, 2006 (AFP) - Former French screen goddess Brigitte Bardot, backed by a petition that her charity said had been signed by more than 200,000 people, called on Canada Tuesday to scrap its annual killing of baby seals.

PARIS, Feb 14, 2006 (AFP) - Former French screen goddess Brigitte Bardot, backed by a petition that her charity said had been signed by more than 200,000 people, called on Canada Tuesday to scrap its annual killing of baby seals.

Signatories of the petition handed to the Canadian embassy in Paris included the Dalai Lama, former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing, singer Charles Aznavour and actresses Kim Bassinger and Juliette Binoche, the Fondation Brigitte Bardot said.

In a letter addressed last week to newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Bardot branded the event "animal genocide that disgusts the world."

The seals are especially vulnerable this year after a freak storm decimated herds that had come ashore in eastern Canada to escape an unusually mild winter to deliver their pups, the foundation said.

International anger at images of the clubbing to death of seals by hunters brought the killing to a virtual halt in the 1970s.

It resumed in earnest after the Canadian government said the seal population was booming and a cull was needed to protect stocks of commercial fish, especially cod.

Animal rights campaigners say seals are the victims of fishery mismanagement and that guidelines for humane killing are being flouted.

About 300,000 seals are killed each year, most of them harp seals. They provide a white pelt that is mainly sold to markets in Asia.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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