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Bardot attacks corrida listing

Brigitte Bardot is among animal lovers who expressed anger after the government listed bullfighting as French heritage

SCREEN legend and animal rights campaigner Brigitte Bardot has called the government’s decision to list bullfighting as part of France’s “immaterial heritage” "completely idiotic".

The star, who heads the Fondation Brigitte Bardot animal rescue charity, called the Ministry of Culture, which made the decision, the “Ministry of Ignorance”.

United Nations members are required by Unesco to keep lists of important cultural practices, which could potentially in the future be selected as forming part of the World Intangible Heritage. “The French meal” was selected as representing such world heritage last year.

Among other animal rights organisations which have attacked the listing decision is 30 Millions d’Amis who said surveys showed most French people disapproved of Spanish-style bullfighting (in which the bull is killed), which is only allowed by special permission in certain southern towns.

Furthermore a ban was proposed last year, supported by 75 MPs, and the mayor of Fréjus, one of the towns associated with bullfighting, has called a halt to it.

The charity expressed its “deep indignation in the face of a decision that officialises and approves the barbarity of this spectacle.”

Other commentators have expressed surprise that France should be the first to list such a practice, as opposed to Spain which is much better-known for it.

Photo: Jean-François Le Falher

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