Thursday April 29, 3:06 AM

Romanian premier of encouraging slaughter of bears, wolves: Bardot

Former French film star and now ardent animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot accused Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase of encouraging the massacre of bears and wolves in his country.

In an open letter to Nastase, she said that Bucharest was hosting "an international conference on the hunt of wolves and bears."

"You are making yourself the defender of (a ...) massacre which gives your country a backward and bloody image," she said of the hunting.

"Romania has the good luck to have a magnificent environment, a rich range of wildlife. Why do you then rush to destroy this heritage while it is essential to preserve it," Bardot said.

While wolves face extinction in most European countries, they are thriving in Romania, according to official figures.

But the ecological association AVES said these figures were too high and that the bear population in Romania had dropped by 60 percent over the past three years.