ANIMAL WELFARE ACTIVIST
To the public worldwide, youthful Brigitte Bardot was a model, singer, actress in over forty movies and French 1950s and 60’s “sex kitten”. In private she shared her home with many pets including a bevy of English Setters
Brigitte’s English Setter family share her bedroom
In 1973 just before her 39th birthday, Brigitte retired from the hurly burly of the movie business to pursue her most important mission in life – promoting animal rights and she isn’t scared of whose toes she treads on in the process!
In 1986, she established the Brigitte Bardot Foundations for the Welfare and Protection of Animals and raised three million French francs to fund the foundation by auctioning her jewellery and valuable personal belongings.
In 1999 she wrote to Chinese President Jiany Zemin (the letter was also published in a French magazine) in which she accused the Chinese of “torturing bears and killing the world’s last tigers and rhinos to make aphrodisiacs” Thus she would approve of South Africa’s current efforts to halt the poaching of rhino and other species of the “Big Five” to satisfy the Asian market.
Brigitte’s letter to the Danish Queen Margrethe II in August 2010 appealed to the sovereign to halt the killing of dolphins in the Faroe Islands which she described as a ‘macabre spectacle’ that is ‘a shame on Denmark and the Faroe Islands…….. This is not a hunt but a mass slaughter…….an outmoded tradition that has no acceptable justification in today’s world’.
On 22nd April 2011, French Cultural Minister Frederic Mitterrand received a tongue lashing letter when Bardot protested the official inclusion of bull fighting as part of the country’s cultural heritage.
On a visit to Canada she supported the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and on 25th May 2011 they renamed their fast interceptor vessel MV Brigitte Bardot.
For two years she has donated more than $140,000 for the mass sterilization and adoption programme of stray dogs, estimated at 300,000 in Romania’s capital city, Bucharest.
From 2013 the Brigitte Bardot Foundation in conjunction with the Kagyapa International Monlam Trust of India have sponsored the annual Veterinary Care Camp and animal welfare in Bodh gaya, India, the crucible of Buddhism where Prince Siddartha attained supreme enlightenment.
Brigitte celebrated her 80th Birthday in 2014, still outspoken, often controversial, and at times outrageous, but passionate about the rights and welfare of animals and through it all the Setters have been at her side.
Brigitte Bardot and her beloved Setters