Russian cats are now banned from international competition

File image: Federation Internationale Feline cites Russia’s attack against Ukraine as a reason behind the ban  (Getty Images)
File image: Federation Internationale Feline cites Russia’s attack against Ukraine as a reason behind the ban (Getty Images)

An international organisation for cats has banned Russian felines from participating in competitions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Federation Internationale Feline (FIFe) announced in a statement that it was “shocked and horrified” at the situation unfolding in Ukraine and it “cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing”.

“The FIFe Executive Board is shocked and horrified that the army of the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Ukraine and started a war,” the statement read.

“Many innocent people died, many more are wounded and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are forced to flee their homes to save their lives. We can all witness the destruction and chaos caused by this unprecedented act of aggression,” it added.

According to the ban, any cat bred in Russia cannot be imported or registered in their pedigree book outside the country. Not only that, but any cat belonging to exhibitors living in Russia cannot enter any FIFe show outside the country, no matter where they were registered.

The restrictions will be in place until 31 May and will be reviewed based on the situation.

The organisation added that it had decided to dedicate a part of its budget to support cat breeders and fanciers in Ukraine who are suffering because of the current situation.

FIFe, which considers itself the “United Nations of Cat Federations”, is an international group created more than 70 years ago and holds 700 shows a year, with over 200,000 cats on exhibit, according to its website. It has 42 member countries.

So far, Russia has been banned by several international organisations, including the FIFA international, UEFA European soccer competitions and the upcoming Winter Paralympics.

These bans as well as several sanctions from western countries came after Moscow invaded Ukraine on 24 February, leading to unprecedented disaster in the former Soviet country, forcing more than 1 million people to flee.

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