"Don't leave the image of Canada [...] tainted with the blood of these poor deer."
Famous French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has written a letter to Longueuil Mayor Catherine Fournier to denounce a crossbow hunt planned in Parc Michel-Chartrand. Fournier announced the city was moving forward with the measure in July, arguing it was necessary due to the overpopulation of deer in the small park.
In February, the Ministère de la Faune, des Forêts et des Parcs (MFFP) counted 108 deer in an area of 1.85 square kilometres, an increase of 50% compared to 2021 and 238% compared to 2017, according to the City of Longueuil. The mayor's office contends that the population is now certainly higher following the spring breeding period.
Fournier affirms that a park of that size can accommodate a maximum of 10 to 15 deer.
In her November 15 letter, Bardot denounced the city's plan, suggesting it was a rushed decision.
Longueuil has been weighing the possibility of a cull since at least 2020.
Bardot said her animal rights organization had received "countless messages of indignation." She also noted that crossbow hunting is forbidden in France in part because the method "does not guarantee that the animal will be killed instantly."
"More than 100 deer, including their young born in the spring, will be massacred in the heart of a magnificent environment that must not become a battlefield," Bardot wrote.
She suggested alternatives, such as relocation and sterilization.
"Don't leave the image of Canada, the symbol of my first fight against the seal hunt, tainted with the blood of these poor deer who only ask to live!" she wrote in bold letters.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.