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France's Bardot Demands EU Action on Wolf Cull

Reuters Foundation / June 21, 2005

Brussels, June 21 (Reuters) - French actress turned animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has urged the European Union to take legal action against France for authorising the killing of six wolves.

Bardot, a star of the cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, wrote to EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas on Monday, saying France had broken EU conservation rules.

"It's totally unacceptable that France puts in danger a protected species," she wrote.

The wolf population was nearly wiped out in France and only started to reappear in 1992. The authorities estimate there are 55 wolves in France compared to 2,000 in Spain and 700 in Italy.

Bardot also wrote to French Ecology Minister Nelly Olin to urge her to reverse the decision.

French farmers say wolves killed 2,808 sheep in 2002 compared to 192 sheep in 1994. Bardot said farmers could use guard dogs to protect their flocks.