Russian cats have been barred from international competitions by the International Cat Federation, which described the invasion of Ukraine as a “unprecedented act of aggression.” Fédération Internationale Féline, or FIFe, a group that calls itself “the United Nations of cat federations” and has members from more than 40 countries, said on its website that it “cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing.” Beginning this week, no cat bred in Russia can be imported or registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside of Russia, and no cat owned by Russian exhibitors can be entered in any FIFe exhibition outside of Russia.
The new rules will be in effect until May 31 and “will be revised as and when appropriate,” according to the group. The war has left FIFe “shocked and frightened.” “Many innocent people have perished, many more have been injured, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been forced to abandon their homes for their lives to be saved,” the group stated in a statement. “On top of that, our Ukrainian feline friends are frantically attempting to care for their cats and other animals in these tough times.”
FIFe’s board of directors announced that a portion of its funding will be allocated to supporting cat breeders and fanciers in Ukraine. According to its website, the federation, which was founded over 70 years ago, hosts over 700 exhibits a year with over 200,000 cats on display. A number of nations, including the United States, have imposed sanctions on Russia, and it has been barred from participating in a number of high-profile organizations and sports, including FIFA international and UEFA European soccer championships. Athletes from Russia and Belarus have also been recommended to be banned from international participation by the International Olympic Committee.
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