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Brigitte Bardot pleads to Denmark in dolphin 'slaughter'

Brigitte Bardot pleads to Denmark in dolphin 'slaughter'


AFP/File – Former screen idol Brigitte Bardot and marine campaign group Sea Shepherd on Thursday jointly appealed …

– Thu Aug 19, 1:44 pm ET

PARIS (AFP) – Former screen idol Brigitte Bardot and marine campaign group Sea Shepherd on Thursday jointly appealed to Denmark's sovereign to halt the annual killing of dolphins in the Faroe Islands, a Danish territory.

Hundreds of pilot whales -- despite their name, members of the dolphin family -- are being chased towards the shore, where they are knived and slashed to death in a gory summer ritual, they said.

"This macabre spectacle is a shame for Denmark and the Faroe Islands," the letter to Queen Margrethe II said.

"This is not a hunt but a mass slaughter," according to a French version of the text.

It blasted an "outmoded tradition that has no acceptable justification in today's world".

Christophe Marie, of the Fondation Brigitte Bardot which campaigns for animal rights, said the activists had been monitoring the dolphin killing -- an event dating back more than a thousand years -- from a ship for the past three weeks.

"The dolphin killing was originally designed to provide people with food," he told AFP by phone.

"But this is no longer the case. Yesterday, we found a pilot-whale graveyard in the waters of a fjord. They were whole carcasses and had been simply thrown away."

The Bardot foundation and Sea Shepherd pointed the finger at Denmark.

Even though Denmark maintains that the Faroes, located between Scotland and Iceland, are an autonomous territory, its navy still controls the islands' fishing zone and protects the boats that drive the dolphins to the shore, they said.

In Torshavn, the chief town of the Faroes, Kate Sanderson, an Australian-educated foreign ministry official who specialises in cetaceans, said the description in the letter was "unfounded and not new".

"It's a proper hunt, like any other hunt, it is wild and it may appear inhuman. But people who protest against the fact that these mammals are being killed by knives have never been in an abattoir," Sanderson said


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