Brigitte Bardot has condemned a new Geneva law requiring all dogs to be muzzled in public parks, adopted this week after a pit bull attacked a toddler.
“I don’t think a Yorkshire terrier or a lapdog constitute any great danger to the population,” Bardot, a former French film star known for her animal rights activism, said in a statement published Friday in the daily Tribune de Geneve newspaper.
“Unfortunately it’s always the dogs paying the price for their masters’ ignorance, irresponsibility and bad behavior,” said Bardot, 71.
The new law, announced Monday, came after an 18-month-old boy was attacked by a pit bull in one of the city’s parks, leaving the child badly disfigured. It applies to all the city’s 30,000 dogs. Owners face fines if they are found in breach of the new law.
“If I owned a dog in Geneva I would simply ignore the ruling,” said Swiss animal rights campaigner Franz Weber, who has worked with Bardot to protect baby seals from Canadian hunters. “To muzzle an animal amounts to mistreating it. It loses its dignity and its pride.”