Bardot warns Putin on animal cruelty before World Cup

PARIS — Brigitte Bardot, the French film star who became an animal rights activist, is using the upcoming soccer World Cup hosted by Russia to express her concerns to President Vladimir Putin about the fate of stray animals in the country.

Bardot's foundation tweeted a letter from her to Putin on Thursday, referring to what she called culling campaigns and other animal cruelty in Russian cities. She said "by accepting this mass killing, you favor barbarism!"

She implored him to replace "this revolting slaughter" with sterilization campaigns. Bardot noted that with the June 14-July 15 World Cup, "the eyes of the international community are turned toward you."

Epistolary exchanges between Bardot and Putin aren't new. He wrote to her in 2000 saying leaders should be heeding her "alarm signals."

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