Brigitte Bardot, one of the emblematic figures of French culture, once again takes a position on a matter related to Canadian fauna. The retired actress and singer has garnered fame for decades for her activism against cruelty to animals. One of the most notorious cases was when he denounced the killing of seal pups in the Arctic in the 1970s, mainly in areas belonging to Canada. This time, Bardot has come out in defense of a hundred deer that live in a park on the outskirts of Montreal and that could soon be slaughtered.
Longueuil is located a few kilometers south of Montreal. It has about 255,000 inhabitants; the fifth most populous city in the province of Quebec. Michel-Chartrand Park, one of its largest natural lungs, is home to about 110 Virginia deer. According to its authorities, said space has almost ten times more deer than it can tolerate, pointing out that this overpopulation causes ecological degradation and represents a danger both for the animals and for nearby residents due to the risk of traffic accidents. The proposed solution is the sacrifice of a hundred, thereby encouraging criticism and accusations from different groups. The matter has triggered an intense judicial dispute.
Bardot (Paris, 1934) has joined this chorus of nonconformists. This week she published an open letter on the website of her foundation -created in 1986- addressed to Catherine Fournier, mayoress of Longueuil. In the letter, the celluloid icon expresses its fear that the “death penalty” will be applied against deer. She says that if the project goes ahead, “more than 100 deer, including their spring-born calves, will be slaughtered in the heart of a magnificent environment that must not become a battlefield.”
Stained with the blood of deer
In the letter, Brigitte Bardot also deplores the planned method. “The crossbow does not guarantee that the animal will die instantly,” she says, stressing that it is a cruel practice that is prohibited in France and other countries. Bardot adds in her words to Mayor Fournier not to allow “the image of Canada, the symbol of my first fight against the seal hunt, to be stained with the blood of these poor deer who just want to live.” The Longueuil authorities have indicated that they are awaiting the decision of the Quebec Court of Appeals on this case and that they do not intend, for the moment, to change their plans. Different organizations –such as the Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals- advocate for the sterilization of these deer and their relocation. A hearing is scheduled in said judicial body for the next few days.