Europe

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Hollande won't 'pardon' TB-infected elephants

John Lichfield Paris

Published 10/01/2013|05:00

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President Francois Hollande has refused to "pardon" two zoo elephants whose death sentence has provoked the actress Brigitte Bardot (pictured) to threaten to move to Russia.

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In a letter to the owner of Baby and Nepal, the two elephants suspected of carrying tuberculosis, Mr Hollande said that he could not interfere in a legal wrangle over their fate.

Diagnosed last summer as carrying TB, the animals were ordered to be destroyed by this Friday after a government decree was made in December.

Their owner, Gilbert Edelstein, has appealed to the Conseil d'Etat, the supreme arbiter of the legality of government decisions in France, to reconsider the ruling.

He has also twice appealed to Mr Hollande to intervene to "pardon" the animals.

The Conseil d'Etat is expected to decide in the next few days whether to refer the fate of Baby and Nepal to France's highest appeal court.

Bardot has threatened to emigrate to Russia, following the example of actor Gerard Depardieu, if Mr Hollande refuses to permit her animal rights group to treat the animals. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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