Tue, 03/01/2022 - 2:04pm

Editorial: March 4, 2022

A Cold War

The recent developments in Europe with the invasion of the Ukraine by Russian president Vladimir Putin have put the entire world on alert. It is causing a great disruption to everyday life, adding the limitations that the pandemic has subjected us to for the last two years. While the threat of a full-scale war is on the horizon, the fate of dog shows, and all the ramifications that it includes, might seem trivial. It is another troublesome problem added to our lives. Having said that, while we are thousands of miles away, we should have a working knowledge of what’s happening with our fellow dog breeders and exhibitors around the world.

FCI president Tomas Jakkel made a Facebook posting somewhat addressing the situation in the Ukraine. It read: ““As the President of the FCI, I express my deepest sorrow on the recent war situation in Ukraine. My hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the situation in any form. Like everyone else, I truly hope these saddening times will come to an end soon.

“I heartily thank each breeder, kennel club, authority, civil organisation throughout Europe who immediately started to organise help for those in need, escaping their homes.

“I thank all those who try their best to help those stuck in their homes, unable to move with their dogs.

“The great International support shows the real spirit of the FCI community, and we would like to encourage everybody to continue this work being the most important activity related to the situation these days.

“My personal RESPECT goes to everybody involved in this rescue movement that makes us proud and proves that we belong together!

“The FCI General Committee has decided in consultation with the FCI Agility Commission to cancel the next Agility FCI World Championship, scheduled to take place in Moscow this September because the utmost priority of the FCI is the safety and wellbeing of our competitors and officials.

“I strongly believe that PERSONAL CHARACTER GOES IN FRONT OF NATIONALITY! At this moment, judging our own people (sharing the same passion and profession) based on what was decided by others only could create general hatred and emotions that never lead us to any acceptable solutions.

“I ask everyone to remain as sensible as possible during such dark times. No matter how hard it is due to your fears, sorrow, loss, or grief.

“We follow the situation carefully and will inform our community about any possibility of further help needed. I contacted some of our strategical partners to provide help for those in heavy need, even though that can be life-threatening.

“In order to decide the possible next steps for the support of our members, the FCI General Committee holds its urgent extraordinary meeting.

“My prayers go to everyone suffering in these tragic days:

Dr Tamás Jakkel

President of the FCI”

That prompted Andrew Brace, well-known international judge and Dog News columnist, to post this: “Will FCI International shows offering FCI CACIBs continue to be held in Russia? A simple question!”

It’s a topical question that concerns all of us in the world of purebred dogs. While the United Kingdom and United States are not members of the FCI, Dog News asked for opinions on of Andrew’s question from those who are directly and indirectly affected by this decision. As comments and opinions started to appear on all platforms, the largest majority wants sanction put on Russia.

So on Sunday, Feb. 28, with public opinion not really satisfied with the FCI president’s statement, an emergency meeting was held by all of the FCI officials, who then released this statement:

“The FCI and its General Committee officially condemn the invasion of Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation. This conflict and aggression cannot leave anybody indifferent and we all feel concerned, sad, and angry.

“The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Army has also put entire families of our dog community in complete distress. This war has placed our breeders and their dogs at great risk, directly threatening their welfare and their lives. Many had to flee, others are surviving in precarious conditions, hiding in shelters where food and basic commodities are becoming very scarce. Yet, in these terrible and trying times, they did not abandon their dogs!

“These horrifying circumstances contradict the written priorities and welfare recommendations of the FCI, as well as our policy and aims.

“The situation has led the FCI General Committee to hold an extraordinary meeting on Sunday, 27 February 2022.

“Important decisions were made, within the legal limits of the FCI and its General Committee, based on the FCI Statutes and Standing Orders.

“From the 1st March 2022, and until further notice, the Russian Kynological Federation (RKF) will not be allowed to conduct – on the Russian Territory – any event wherein FCI titles or prizes are awarded (CACIB shows, CACIT trials, CACIAG competitions, etc.).

“In order to give the opportunity to our Members/Contract Partners and any other persons to express their solidarity and help towards the Ukrainian people, their dog lovers/breeders/keepers, the FCI will open a bank account, specially for this purpose, where all donations are welcome and will be forwarded, with full transparency, to help the Ukrainian Kennel Union (UKU) and the Ukrainian breeders badly affected by the war and in serious need, living either in Ukraine or having fled to neighbouring countries.

“The FCI will contribute to this fund in a substantial manner. Further details will be communicated in the following days.

“The FCI is a huge community, a united and strong family so let us all stand up and show our of (sic) solidarity for Ukraine!

The FCI General Committee members

Dr T.Jakkel, FCI President

G. Jipping, FCI Vice-President

B. Müller, FCI Treasurer

M.A. Martinez,

R. de Santiago

C. Molinari

J. Hindse, President of the FCI Europe Section

JL. Payro, President of the FCI Americas and Carribean Section

D. Santos, President of the FCI Asia, Africa and Oceania Section

Y. De Clercq, FCI Executive Director”

As the situation worsens, some European countries are imposing their own restrictions on Russian judges and the exhibition of dogs owned by Russians. Right or wrong, it is the result of frustrated kennel clubs wanting to show their support and unity against this senseless invasion. We are told that Russian dog-show judges are having their assignments cancelled, and that the English Kennel Club has sent a letter to those Russian exhibitors entered at the upcoming Crufts Dog Show advising them that they are not allowed to exhibit.

This might be the tip of an iceberg that will take a long time to melt. Are we headed for another cold war?


© Dog News. This article may not be reposted, reprinted, rewritten, excerpted or otherwise duplicated in any medium without the express written permission of the publisher.

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