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The former French screen goddess and animal rights campaigner Brigitte Bardot has threatened to seek a Russian passport in protest at the treatment of two sick circus elephants.

The animals, named Baby and Nepal, are thought to be carrying tuberculosis. A court in the southern French city of Lyon has now ruled they should be put down as a precautionary measure.

But Bardot issued a statement saying she would apply to become a Russian citizen if the order is carried out.

It seems a popular thing to do at the moment. Earlier this week President Vladimir Putin signed an order allowing French actor Gerard Depardieu to become a Russian national after he left France in protest over tax hikes proposed by the Socialist government which he has accused of penalising success.

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