One Year After Sled Dog Murder, British Columbia Strengthens Animal Cruelty Laws
A year ago this month, 100 healthy sled dogs belonging to Outdoor Adventures Whistler were killed in a mass slaughter over two days. The story is a horrifying look at what can happen when companies who use “working animals” put their profit before the well-being of their animals.
When we first reported the Mass Slaughter Of 100 Sled Dogs, Care2 members were outraged, and rightly so. Thanks to the compassion of thousands of members who took the time to help, this petition gained over 100,000 signatures.
Fortunately, the outrage that the massive slaying caused will do some good. While the 100 sled dogs cannot be brought back, their memory will live on as other animals in British Columbia will be protected.
Just in time for the one year anniversary of this tragic tale, B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced that she will be adopting all of the recommendations made by the special task force that was created to investigate the killings. Some of these recommendations include:
- Requiring veterinarians to report animal abuse to the B.C. SPCA.
- Establishing standards of care for the feeding, housing and euthanization of sled dogs.
- Enhancing the capacity of the B.C. SPCA to conduct animal cruelty investigations with a $100,000 donation.
- Appointing a Crown counsellor with expertise in animal cruelty to pursue more cases.
- Requiring sled dog companies on Crown land to submit to annual inspections.
B.C.’s existing punishments for animal cruelty are up to $10,000 in fines and up to six months in jail, but those will be raised to a cap of $75,000 in fines and two years in prison. B.C. will urge the federal government to strengthen animal cruelty laws as well.
The Care2 community has been instrumental in spreading the word about this horrific tragedy and in making sure that sled dogs, and all animals in B.C., are better protected. While there will still be a criminal investigation of the killings, this is a huge step for British Columbia and the animals who live there.
photo from Creative Commons - Drew Avery