Bardot blasts Swedish wolf hunt

9th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former screen idol turned animal rights campaigner Brigitte Bardot blasted Sweden's wolf hunt as "retrograde" in a letter to Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, urging a halt to the cull.

"How it is possible to act in such a retrograde fashion in a country like Sweden?" the 76-year-old French icon asks.

"Minister, I am begging you, spare those poor creatures by stopping the hunt and letting the already fragile (wolf) population strengthen itself" she wrote.

The European Commission launched legal action against Sweden in January for allowing hunters to shoot 20 wolves this year even though the species is threatened with extinction.

As of Wednesday, all wolves but one had been shot in this year's month-long hunting season, which ends Tuesday.

Sweden argues the hunt, which was reopened last year after a 46-year hiatus, allows it to strengthen the gene pool of its largely inbred wolf population.

The Scandinavian country wants to keep numbers at 210 animals, and plans to import wolves from Finland and Russia to replace the culled ones.

The hunt is highly controversial in Sweden. On Sunday, protestors marched through central Stockholm carrying 20 coffins to symbolise the number of wolves in this year's hunting quota.

Bardot shot to international fame in 1956 with her controversial role as a demon-driven temptress in the movie "And God Created Woman," becoming an icon of the burgeoning sexual liberation era.

But stardom proved too much to handle and she abandoned her movie career in 1973, aged just 39, retiring to the French Riviera resort of Saint Tropez.

Since then she has swapped the role of sex symbol for that of campaigner, selling off everything she owned to fund her animal rights foundation.

© 2011 AFP

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