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February 2, 2011

HSI Canada Calls for Stronger Laws in Wake of Mass Killing of BC Sled Dogs

Humane Society International/Canada

(Feb. 2, 2011)—Humane Society International/Canada condemns a mass killing of 100 sled dogs, reportedly carried out in Whistler in April 2010, by Outdoor Adventures. The company had apparently purchased the animals in anticipation of increased business during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, only to dispose of the dogs when tours dropped off the following season. The situation came to light when an employee of Outdoor Adventures sought post traumatic stress counseling after being ordered to kill the dogs.

"This was a horrific killing of 100 dogs, many of whom were reportedly healthy, and could have been placed into loving homes," said Lauren Scott, campaigner for Humane Society International/Canada. "Humane Society International /Canada is calling on the authorities to continue with their investigation and prosecute as warranted to the fullest extent of the law."

"These were beautiful dogs that had just finished working very hard during the Olympics, and they deserved more than a shot to the head or a slit to the throat," said Carlin Arsenault, director of Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours. "Though there are a number of reputable dog sled operators available in Canada, most people do not know what information to look for and what to ask when choosing a tour company."

Tragically, cases of neglected sled dogs are regularly reported in Canada. In certain cases, sled dogs are chained for their entire lives until it is time to pull the sled—at which point they can be run to the point of exhaustion.

In recent years, HSI Canada has been involved in two sled dog seizures in Quebec, involving the rescue of hundreds of severely neglected animals. HSI Canada's rescue workers witnessed horrific situations, including huskies chained to metal poles and rotting plywood structures over barren stretches of frozen mud, with no regular access to food, water or shelter.

HSI Canada is advocating for stronger laws at the provincial and federal level, and for the sled dog industry as a whole to establish and help enforce the highest possible standards of animal care. Donate to support our efforts or (Canadians) write to the Minister of Justice.

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Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than 11 million members and constituents globally—On the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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