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FBB (Fondation Brigitte Bardot) is the leading animal protection NGO in France, with its own sanctuary in Normandy, Mare Azou, and alliances throughout the world to which FBB lends its considerable expertise and resources, to protect animals from exploitation and cruelty: from beagles in Croatia to Baby Harp Seals in Canada.

As of 2003, 11.3% of France's total land-cover was protected with 259 Nature Reserves, Wilderness Areas and National Parks, many of which are larger than a quarter million acres. This total conservation collective represents approximately 2% of all protected areas on the European Continent. Yet, for all of France's rural traditions and protected areas, a high percentage of French biodiversity is at risk with 19% of the total species count listed as Threatened in 2000, up from 14% in 1996.

The French love their pets, and their countryside traditions, to be sure. But a visit to FBB's Mare Auzou provides an insight into French rural complications and a window on the souls of the precious creatures who dwell there, having been rescued by Ms. Bardot and her colleagues from oblivion. Like the citizenry of Farm Sanctuary, FBB staff and residents are a diplomatic corps for animals, emblematic of the rebirth currently inspiring people throughout the world.

LA Fondation Brigitte Bardot