Iditarod and the Reality of Dog Sled Racing

A dog is being dragged on the ice. The musher may be sleeping.

Starting March 4, dogs will be forced to run 1,150 miles (1,850 km) in the lucrative Alaskan dog sled race known as the Iditarod. Mushers, chasing a reported $840,000 US in prize money, push their dogs beyond their physical abilities in a sport that masquerades itself as an honourable commemoration of the 1925 Anchorage to Nome diphtheria serum delivery (in which no dog ran more than 92 miles). In addition to the countless sponsors and international attention given to the winners, the race also exposes the inherent cruelty, undeniable health risks, unregulated kennels, and the continual killing of discarded huskies unfit to win the race. Are these animals as loved and respected as their mushers claim, or are they merely objectified tools for profit?

Our guests will be Ethel D. Christensen, Director of the Alaska SPCA, Margery Glickman, Director of the Sled Dog Action Coalition, and Paula Kislak, DVM, President of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights.

Listen right now:

or download an mp3 of the interview.

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