On November 22nd former sled dog operator Bob Fawcett basically walked away from cruelty to animals charges that he had pleaded guilty to. He massacred a reported 100 dogs due to lack of business during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler.
The judge ruled for no jail time (3 year probation), $1500 fine, 200 hours of community work service, and no participation in the sled dog industry or making decisions about “euthanizing” animals. He can still own animals. The judge suggested that perhaps the public reaction against Fawcett was too much. So pity for him while no justice for those dogs and dogs who continue to be exploited.
“So much for the Liberals and SPCA claims that there is now better protection for sled dogs (even though the SPCA had complained that any new rules would be hard to enforce without more money for them). In addition, there was proposed legislation to transfer Animal Abuse appeals from the B.C. Supreme Court to the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board. That would make it even easier for animal abusers,” stated Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Director, “Over 2.5 years after the Whistler dog slaughter there is only a slap on the bloodied hands of Bob Fawcett and no one else was charged. This is a major setback for animal rights. “
Was Fawcett the fall guy? Is big money is protecting big players? In the Whistler case Bob Fawcett did not act alone. There were definitely plans that included others prior to and during the 3 day killing period. For example, a “manager” blocked the killing site with a truck and had radio contact to Fawcett (Fawcett also thought he might shoot himself). There were accomplices who had knowledge of and participated. They include the owners at Outdoor Adventures who ordered it due to a decline of business.
Hamilton added, “The government must start getting tough on animal abusers by banning the sled dog abuse industry! Incredibly, at the brief Task Force meeting Terry Lake denied Lifeforce’s request for a moment of silence for sled dogs. No true respect for abused sled dogs? Lots of pr spin to protect Whistler and BC Tourism NOT the dogs.’
“Terry Lake, Sled Dog Task Force, misled all about the Whistler sled dog slaughter being an “aberration” when it was proven that cruelties are inherent in the sled dog tourism and racing industries, the Liberals helped form a Mushers' Association that protects the industry not the dogs, and the recent guidelines permitted the continuance of 24/7 chaining, inhumane shooting and all the other abuses. Then, probably with some expensive legal advice, Outdoor Adventures “donated” their business and it is now operating as Whistler Sled Dog Company. So it was business as usual for the sled dog abuse industry in BC,” stated Hamilton.
Lifeforce’s new petition is to stop the inhumane tourism and racing sled dog industry. We are urging outdoor adventure companies to replace dogs with snow mobiles/ATVs. The recent court decision shows that dogs are not and will not be protected. In this day and age we must use modern technology NOT exploited sentient dogs.
Lifeforce has also started the Facebook “Stop Whistler Sled Dog Cruelty Industry!”
Lifeforce report, The Case Against Sled Dog Industries http://lifeforcefoundation.org/newsitem.php?id=135
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