Sportsman who bit head off live chicken faces legal action

Brigitte Bardot foundation says video of Basque pelota player Bixente Larralde is sickening

Animal rights campaigners say they will sue a sporting champion for animal cruelty after he was filmed biting the head off a live cockerel during a dinner with friends.


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The Brigitte Bardot foundation said the actions of the Basque pelota player Bixente Larralde were shocking and sickening.

In the brief video apparently made in June, a smiling Larralde is seen sitting at a table with several wine bottles and a cockerel. Larralde grabs the bird and, as it struggles, bites off its head, which he then spits out.

Daniel Raposo from the BB foundation said the organisations lawyers had been instructed to sue. We must absolutely highlight this because it is serious and punishable by the law, he said.

Its always shocking and sickening in 2019 to see people killing animals for amusement. This man might be an example to young people therefore we cannot let this act rest unpunished, he added.

Whether it was a boozy evening or not animals are sensitive beings and there are laws that protect them. What he did is a criminal offence.

Larralde told the Basque news website Mediabask that he did not want to comment on the legal action. However, the website reported that he said he was aware his behaviour was an error and a bad thing to do.

If convicted of animal cruelty, Larralde could face a fine of up to 30,000 (28,000). A petition has been launched, calling for him to be excluded from the Basque pelota team of France and dropped by sponsors.

The animal rights organisation 30 Million Friends said it would join the BB foundations legal action.

The dinner took place after a championship match in Hasparren, south-east of Bayonne, won by Larraldes older brother Peio. Basque pelota is a court sport played with a ball hit using the hand or a racket, bat or basket.


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The cockerel is an unofficial symbol of France.

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