In 1973, before her 39th birthday, Bardot announced her retirement. After appearing in more than forty motion pictures and recording several music albums, most notably with Serge Gainsbourg, she chose to use her fame to promote animal rights.
In 1986, she established the "Brigitte Bardot Foundation" for the "Welfare and Protection of Animals". She became a vegetarian and raised three million francs to fund the foundation by auctioning off jewellery and many personal belongings.
Today she is a strong animal rights activist and a major opponent of the consumption of horse meat. In support of animal protection, she condemned seal hunting in Canada during a visit to that country with Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. She sought to discuss the issue with Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, but her request for a meeting was reportedly denied. On 25 May 2011 the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society renamed its fast interceptor vessel, MV Gojira, as MV Brigitte Bardot in appreciation of her support.
She once had a neighbour's donkey castrated while looking after it, on the grounds of its "sexual harassment" of her own donkey and mare, for which she was taken to court by the donkey's owner in 1989. Bardot wrote a 1999 letter to Chinese President Jiang Zemin, published in French magazine VSD, in which she accused the Chinese of "torturing bears and killing the world's last tigers and rhinos to make aphrodisiacs".
She has donated more than $140,000 over two years for a mass sterilization and adoption program for Bucharest's stray dogs, estimated to number 300,000. She is planning to house many of these stray animals in a new animal rescue facility that she is having built on her property.
In August 2010, Bardot addressed a letter to the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II of Denmark, appealing for the sovereign to halt the killing of dolphins in the Faroe Islands. In the letter, Bardot describes the activity as a "macabre spectacle" that "is a shame for 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 22 April 2011, French culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand officially inscribed bullfighting on a list numerating the country's cultural heritage, a decision which Bardot is currently publicly contesting. "French culture is a culture of enlightenment and has nothing to do with bloody things like bullfighting," she wrote.
With its 57,000 donors, the "Brigitte Bardot Foundation" seeks to protect domestic and wild animals all over the world.
In January of 1962, leading French actress Brigitte Bardot defended farm animals on television for the first time, denouncing methods used to slaughter them. A few years later, she helped pass new regulations requiring them to be stunned before slaughter. In 1977, as images of baby seals massacred on the ice floe shocked the world, Ms. Bardot succeeded in having a ban enacted concerning the seal skin trade. In 1986, she created her Foundation in Saint-Tropez, in the South of France.
In a nutshell, "The Brigitte Bardot Foundation" fights to defend animal rights and does not specialise in a specific area. Its ambition is to be at the heart of the fight for animal rights, whatever this may entail. It acts to heighten awareness, inform, relieve and save. It intervenes anywhere in the world where there is mistreatment of andcruelty towards animals. Brigitte Bardot has tirelessly pursued this battle. Her persistency, willpower and unreserved love for animals has elevated her to the rank of International Ambassadress for the protection of animals.
Address:28 rue Vineuse 75116 Paris , France
Phone: 33 (0)1 45 05 14 60
Fax: 33 (0)1 45 05 14 80
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