Actor and activist Brigitte Bardot urges Longueuil mayor to stop deer cull

Retired French film star Brigitte Bardot holds a photo montage, showing a seal hunting a baby, 05 December 2005 in Geneva. Bardot was in Geneva to support Swiss ecologist Franz Weber's relaunch of a campaign against seal-hunting in Canada. AFP PHOTO FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images). Global News

A new voice has joined the growing chorus against the city of Longueuil’s controversial deer cull.

Retired French actor and outspoken activist Brigitte Bardot is using her star power to try to convince a stoppage of what she calls a ‘massacre’ in MichelChartrand park.

READ MORE: Longueuil to go ahead with controversial deer cull in Michel Chartrand park

In an open letter addressed to Longueuil’s mayor on her foundation’s web page, Bardot is urging the city to reconsider the “cruel” crossbow hunt.

“Crossbow hunting is a cruel practice and totally prohibited in France and in many countries because of its dangerousness and does not guarantee that the animal will be killed instantly,” the statement reads.

“Almost all ruminants, more than 100 deer, including their young born in the spring, will be massacred in the heart of a magnificent environment that must not become a battlefield.”

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The retired French actor has a history of standing up for animal rights in Canada, something mentioned in the letter.

In 1977 Bardot made headlines when she visited Newfoundland to witness and oppose the practice of seal hunting.

“Don’t leave the image of Canada, the symbol of my 1st fight against the seal hunt, tainted with the blood of these poor deer who only ask to live!”

READ MORE: Longueuil approves crossbow hunt to control deer population in local park

Last spring, the Longueuil greenspace was home to more than 100 deer — almost 10 times the number that experts say it can comfortably support.

The deer population has increased 238 per cent over the past five years.

The deer population in Michel Chartrand Park must decrease and be controlled to prevent the situation from deteriorating, Longueuil Mayor Catherine Fournier has said in the past.

No comment was given by the city of Longueuil concerning the French film star’s comments as the matter is before the courts.

READ MORE: Longueuil, Que. to delay deer culling to achieve herd size reduction target

Animal rights groups oppose the hunt, claiming a more humane option could be presented.

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Lawyer Anne France Goldwater, representing Sauvetage Animal Rescue, is arguing for relocating the forest animals or spaying and neutering them to stop repopulating.

The Montreal SPCA is acting as an intervener in the case.

The Court of Appeal will be giving a ruling on a safeguard order sought by groups opposed to hunting Nov. 25.

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