While the President of Fondation Brigitte Bardot did not fail to criticize the pro-hunting positions of the President of the French Republic and the outrageous position of his Minister of Agriculture, hostile to any measure favourable to animal welfare, the meeting that was held Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at the Elysee, seems to have raised awareness of President Macron on the animal condition.
“I want France to be the world champion on animal welfare”
In addition to tackling different topics requiring concrete commitments, the objective of this meeting was to underline that the government has not at all been meeting the great expectations of the French population.
Brigitte Bardot first reminded the President of his unfulfilled campaign commitments regarding the ban on the sale of eggs from caged hens and the installation of CCTV in slaughterhouses. Currently, the Government’s response is to let the sector organise itself; as for the CCTV, it will be tested in those slaughterhouses willing to do so … In other words, the government doesn’t want to take responsibility.
On these two items, the French President wants to review the position defended by his Minister and go further, especially by taking action with the mass distribution, but also by strengthening veterinary controls in slaughterhouses. Indeed, during this interview, FBB has reiterated that their request for the installation of CCTV came from a lack of about fifty additional veterinary investigators on the handling of live animals. Macron heard this call and pledged to respond favorably.
Brigitte Bardot’s first fight in 1962 was to impose the stunning of animals at the time of killing. It is not acceptable today to depart from this rule by accepting the slaughter of conscious animals and their suffering, often through a long agony, especially with regards to cattle. The President promised to study ways to make the slaughter of animals subject to compulsory stunning, in particular by working with representatives of the Muslim and Jewish faith.
On this occasion, Brigitte Bardot presented a new letter she received from Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, who has renewed his support and his agreement-in-principle on the use of a “reversible” stunning (which does not hurt nor kills the animal). She also pointed out the commitments made by other EU Member States that no longer derogates from the obligation to stun animals, not even for ritual slaughter.
The ban on the consumption of horse meat is another fight supported for decades by Brigitte Bardot, who requires the “retirement” of racehorses, equines from equestrian centers, etc. Again, solutions exist and were discussed; the President undertook to study FBB requests and to meet again before the end of the year to take stock of the situation. He will then present the commitments he will be able to make.
Many other topics were addressed in the file presented to the President (animal experimentation, pet trade, fur farming…). However, some couldn’t be discussed during the meeting because the President took the time to hear the arguments presented by Brigitte Bardot, seeking – each time – the measures that could be taken during his five-year term.
Brigitte Bardot pleasantly surprised by the President
On leaving the Elysee, Brigitte Bardot did not hide her enthusiasm: “I was not a big supporter of Macron, so I was very surprised to see the attention, seriousness and willingness he showed us”, she told the news agency AFP.
During this interview, Brigitte Bardot was accompanied by Laurence Parisot, Vice President of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, and Christophe Marie, its spokesperson.