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Pets are family.
The Indian ministry for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying temporarily loosened import requirements for Indian citizens fleeing Ukraine. The new policy will make it easier for them to bring pets, like cats and dogs, across the border.
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The department issued an office memorandum which described the alteration as a “one-time relaxation measure,” Times of India reports.
The memorandum states, “considering unique and extraordinary situations in war-hit Ukraine wherein pre-export requisite formalities for export of pets into India may not be fulfilled, the import of pet dogs and/or pet cats along with stranded Indians being rescued by the Government of India is being facilitated as a one-time relaxation measure as under.”
Earlier this week, an Indian student living in Ukraine named Rishabh Kaushik made headlines when he refused to leave the country without his pet dog Malibu.
The SJA Alumni Association posted about Kaushik’s situation on its Facebook page, explaining that he was in Ukraine studying computer engineering when the conflict broke out. While his family, who were also living in Ukraine at the time, were able to leave, Kaushik refused to leave Malibu behind. When he wasn’t able to secure the proper permissions, he decided to figure out alternate travel plans.
Kaushik eventually started traveling to the Hungary boarder on Monday, according to follow-up posts from the alumni association.
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On Tuesday, the association posted that he had successfully made it to Hungary with Malibu. The pair, along with nine others, are reportedly headed towards Budapest.
PETA India helped convince the ministry to alter its rules regarding pets being imported into the country, according to Times of India.