Tourist Sled Dogs Slaughtered in Canada

As many as 100 huskies used to pull sleds for tourists during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, BC were killed because they were not cost-effective.

The incident came to light recently when WorkSafeBC filed a report of an employee of Outdoor Adventures Whistler who requested and received compensation for post-traumatic distress disorder, reports the Globe and Mail.

In the graphic WorkBC report, the employee says he was told to cull the herd of about 300 by about 100 dogs. A veterinarian who was contacted refused to euthanize healthy animals, so the employee attempted the culling by shooting the animals.

"Any dog sledder who culls dogs at the end of a season should be culled himself, as far as we're concerned," says Paul McCormick, head dog sledding guide for Wilderness Adventures, a Toronto-based company that runs dog-sledding trips through Canada's Algonquin Park, in news reports.

"You don't go out and cull dogs," he says. "We're part of the largest dog sled operation in the world with 40 dogs and we never cull dogs. We retire them, they're adopted ... there are a lot of alternatives."

The employee told WorkSafeBC he performed what he described as "execution-style" killings, where he wrestled the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them.

Horrific details in the report include the worker describing having to shoot dogs multiple times because he did not kill them with the first shot, as well as using a knife to slit the throats of some dogs when his shots were not accurate or he ran out of ammunition.

Company spokesman Graham Aldcroft told reporters the company had expected a proper, legal and humane manner would be used to euthanize the dogs.

Tourism Whistler suspended reservations for dog sledding at Outdoor Adventures Whistler. Full refunds will be given to anyone who booked a dog sledding tour with the company.

The BC SPCA, which has authority in British Columbia to make recommendations on prosecution, has begun an investigation. SPCA spokeswoman Marcie Moriarty says she believes the killings are Criminal Code offences, which cover a range of assault and abuse charges.

Photo, Antonin Remond, flickr
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