Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Animal Abuse Scandal that Shook Canada

The killing of 100 sled dogs in Whistler, British Columbia, has caused a huge scandal across Canada.

Newspapers have been fixated on the "dog slaughter," which allegedly last April, when post-2010 Winter Olympics demand for dog sled rides plummeted. A company called Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc. allegedly shot the dogs and buried them in a mass grave.

In the past few weeks, news of the slaughter has escalated into a full-fledged national scandal. The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals launched an investigation of the alleged slaughter.

Stories about the bloodletting have been all over the television and internet, and newspapers across Canada (and outside the nation) have editorialized about the brutality. Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc.

The company responsible for the dog slaughter issued a statement saying
that the dogs to be euthanized were too old or sick and not adoptable. These dogs live to run and were not able to do so and would have had to be kept in cages with the result that they would have had very poor or virtually no quality of life. (Source)

This as an after-the-fact rationale that sounds like a big load of B.S. Of course, it is regrettable that the terrible treatment of factory farm animals does not stir the same sort of reaction as the violent slaughter of 100 sled dogs. Most people who become outraged at the news of dogs being shot can't be bothered with stories about pigs and cows and chickens meeting violent deaths.

That much is impossible to deny.

But I keep going back to what I've been saying all along on this Blog. We've come a long way, baby. Twenty years ago, an incident like this would have likely passed without anyone noticing. Thanks to years of struggles by animal rights activists, outrages like this one are now capturing media attention from far and wide. The Internet has helped spread the word. And companies caught treating animals so horribly either go on the defensive or they go out of business.

We'll take all the outrage we can get. Bless the public for being so furious about this nightmarish story. Notice has been served to companies that brutalize and kill animals. People who are shaken to the core and outraged by the treatment of these dogs are potential converts to the cause of animal rights. If a story like this can upset them, other instances of animal abuse can have a similar effect.

The key is to keep chipping away, like waves battering cliffs. Eventually the wall will erode and collapse.

1 comment:

  1. Mushing is built on exploitation (Whitehorse Star, Feb 11/11)

    Killing dogs (and other non-humans) is legal; it’s how the killing is undertaken that the law is concerned with. You see, the mushing industry is built on the exploitation and killing of dogs.

    As long as it is done “humanely”, it’s OK to kill your dog and/or someone else’s dog with their permission. The government has no problem with exploiting and killing other creatures – it is a major supporter.

    “The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF; http://www.aldf.org) is offering a $1,000 US reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone engaged in the illegal killing of sled dogs in the U.S. or Canada (Star letters, Feb. 4).

    I find it concerning that the ALDF does not express a concern with sled-dogs, so long as it is done legally. I wonder: how many dogs are killed “legally” in the U.S. and Canada?

    If the animal welfare groups and the government are serious about the humane treatment of dogs (and other creatures), they should abolish the use of these animals instead of using words like “humane” when supporting the exploitation of nonhumans.

    No more public money for Yukon dog races, which I see as chattel slavery.

    Also, the media should stop promoting and supporting the exploitation and killing of animals.

    For the animals!

    Mike Grieco, Whitehorse