After a request from the American Kennel Club, the organization that runs the World Dog Show may move the 2016 event out of Russia because of its anti-gay laws.
The organization that puts on the World Dog Show says it is considering moving the 2016 show out of Russia after the country enacted legislation in June that criminalizes public expressions of homosexuality.
Rafael de Santiago, president of the Federation Cynologique Internationale, wrote in a statement that the FCI stands against the discrimination of all people and animals, but must ensure that it follows procedures and respects the rights of its member nations.
"I guarantee you that I will make sure that the FCI will stand strong and united against any type of discrimination or abuse against dogs, humans or any living creature," he wrote. "Although I am personally against the mentioned Russian law, I have to make sure that the FCI follows our statutes and procedures as established. I guarantee you that our Executive and General Committees are working on resolving this disgraceful situation."
Under Russia's new nationwide law, heavy fines are imposed for providing information about homosexuality to minors or holding gay pride events such as parades and rallies. Foreign citizens arrested for violating the law can be detained for 15 days and then deported.
Santiago's statement follows a letter written to the FCI in July by the American Kennel Club urging the organization to relocate its 2016 show from Moscow.
"On behalf of the American Kennel Club, our member clubs, and the American purebred dog fancy, we urge you to move the 2016 World Dog Show from Russia to a nation that respects and upholds human rights for all its citizens," Alan T. Kalter, chairman of the AKC's board, and Dennis B. Sprung, its president and CEO, wrote to Santiago.
"The international dog community deserves to enjoy the World Dog Show in a place that stands for freedom and equal rights for all," they said.
The World Dog Show is one of the world's largest and most esteemed annual shows, featuring hundreds of internationally recognized breeders and trainers. This year's show in Budapest drew over 17,000 dogs from 70 countries.
Other protests against the Russian law have sprung up around the world. In the United States, a number of bars have boycotted Russian vodkas.
And despite assurances from the International Olympic Committee that the anti-gay laws will not affect participants and spectators of next year's Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, Russian lawmakers continue to claim that the laws should and will be enforced at Sochi.
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