Today I was dismayed to read a story in the Vancouver Sun that stated that LUSH Cosmetics was partnering with the Vancouver Humane Society to call for a ban on dog sled racing and tour operation. This was extremely disappointing to me, because I cannot support a company that calls for knee-jerk legislation banning activities that many dogs and their owners participate in and enjoy.
Is LUSH convinced that every single sled dog racer or tour operator is abusive? Is every single person offering dog sled rides for a fee likely to shoot and stab their animals? Does LUSH think that most people who engage in sled dog racing treat their animals inhumanely? If not, why are they trying to punish these people as well as the people who abuse their sled dogs? And why just BC? Do Alberta tour operators not engage in inhumane practices? How about Ontario?
In the above link, LUSH states:
Why not just regulate the sled dog industry?
Regulation would be impossible to enforce due to limited government resources and the relative inaccessibility of these operations.
Then how does LUSH propose that the government enforce the humane treatment of the sled dogs that these tour operators and racers now have? LUSH says:
Wouldn’t a ban lead to an immediate surplus of “unemployed” sled dogs?
A ban would need to be phased in over time, with current operations being subject to “grandfather clauses” allowing them to continue but with no breeding or new acquisitions permitted. It would be the responsibility of these businesses to ensure the dogs’ well-being until the end of their lives.
If the government cannot regulate the sled dog industry, according to LUSH, then how does LUSH Cosmetics propose that they regulate the humane treatment/breeding/purchase ban?
LUSH is saying that the Canadian government would find it “impossible” to enforce regulations of the sled dog industry, but at the same time, it is expecting the Canadian government to enforce legislation that would eventually lead to the cessation of sled dog tours and racing (but at the same time ensure the humane treatment of these “unemployed” sled dogs.
The Whistler incident showcased the problems with the sled dog industry. Now we need to call for legislation that has teeth to punish people who treat their animals inhumanely, whether they’re working sled dogs or domestic pets. Calling for a ban will not result in better treatment of sled dogs or more education of the public or sled dog owners. What we really need is laws that actually punish people for wilfully neglecting and abusing the animals in their care instead of the toothless legislation Canada has concerning animal welfare.
I am sorry, but I will not be shopping at LUSH anymore. I don’t want to support a company that calls for a ban on something that it has not taken the trouble to understand. Sled dog racing and tour operation are not the problem; people who treat their animals badly are.