Surprise, surprise… BC is not looking to ban dogsledding

No ban on dogsledding, no ban on killing the dogs to come of the task force.

Banning sled dog racing and tours is like banning afterschool sports because some parents are competitive to the point of being abusive to their children. This isn’t a “sled dog issue” – it’s an animal cruelty issue. Alienating the people who are involved with sledding and who treat their animals decently by banning their sport doesn’t help identify and punish the people who hurt dogs. It just removes the people who are likely to identify and report problems.

LUSH, you continue to treat Canadians like half-wits – apparently we’re good enough to be able to a) ban sled dog racing and tours, b) police sled dog kennels to ensure that they are treating the dogs decently, and c) ensure that no breeding or buying is done by the kennel owner. However, we’re apparently not competent enough to enforce anti-cruelty laws that would regulate the treatment of sled dogs:

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. – LUSH

However, LUSH seems confident that the government can marshal its “limited resources” and overcome “the relative inaccessibility of these operations” to accomplish the following:

We want the British Columbia government to ban this cruel industry altogether.
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.

So you want to ban sled dog racing and sled dog tours. This requires discussion, arguments, research and legislation. You want to phase it in over time. You want to make sure that these kennels don’t breed or acquire new dogs. You want to ensure that these kennels treat their dogs well until the end of their lives. All of this requires the same resources that you claim the BC government does not have.

In part, you’re right, actually. The laws do skip over sled dogs. They shouldn’t. We need stronger laws, harsher punishments. We need an acknowledgement from the government that animals deserve to be raised decently, treated kindly and killed mercifully. What happened in Whistler was not decent, kind or merciful. It should be addressed. Robert Fawcett should be punished. This is what I believe.

I also believe that you think you’re doing a great thing. On the surface, sure, that’s what it looks like… but what does it look like to anyone involved with real rescue? That little homily about “why should the sled dog industry be allowed to shirk its moral responsibilities” etc. does nothing except convince me that you want to jump up and down, get something written on a piece of paper and write home to Mama in England that you done good… without the fuss and bother of actually taking steps to identify, obtain, rehabilitate and rehome abused and neglected sled dogs. The money you’re making off those little paws soaps could actually be saving sled dogs right now. It could be used to lobby for new laws that every decent person in BC could support.

You could be making a difference.

LUSH Cosmetics Out To Ban Dog Sledding

Jamie Hargrave, the owner of Trapper’s Run [a dog sled tour business], was more pointed in her criticism.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said of the campaign. “People are ignorant and have no idea what they’re talking about.”

Hargrave went into Lush Cosmetics in Whistler Village recently and said when she asked questions of a customer sales representative; the rep “giggled” at her and said, “We want to save all the dogs.”

You’re just making soap.

One Comment

  1. I find this quite disconcerting. I graduated from an outdoor recreation and Eco-tourism program up north and as part of the program we spent a day dog sledding. I was skeptical going to it because I’ve heard bad things about how the dogs are treated….I’ve never seen happier dogs in my life. They absolutely LOVE running. And when you think about it they are related to wolves and thats what wolves do, they are always on the move. The only thing that bothered me was that the dogs were fed on a low fibre diet. They had a very liquidy diet, I can’t remember what all was in it but that there was chicken blood in it which the Owner explained to me was because the activity requires so much energy they needed something that can be quickly digested. Which makes sense to me. The people who worked there obviously loved and cared for the dogs. In the team I worked with one dog needed booties and constantly lost one and the guides stopped every time and put it back on. And when the dogs are retired, homes are found for them, one of my classmates parents adopted 2 and he said they adapted quickly, potty trained, and were great dogs. I completely agree with your statement on how this is not a sled dog issue but and animal cruelty issue. It upsets me that they say to take action by not visiting or going on sled tours. The impression I got of the place I visited was that they were doing it out of passion for the sport and dogs and not for profit.

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