Reaction to Standards

Well didn’t that just stir up a bee’s nest! Invoked some very strong reactions both for & against.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything in this law. Actually some I would strongly argue as unnecessary & not likely to improve the standard of care.

But it is a starting point for discussion. In B.C., in light of the events a couple years ago this really is a good attempt by the outfitters involved to address public concerns about care & treatment of sled dogs. The government is to be commended for meeting the mushing community at a reasonable point, addressing the issues in the public conscious. And from that perspective it is a good law. It is reasonable.

Across the continent groups are lobbying against tethering, against the extreme races. Proactive moves such as this protects the rights of mushers & protects the welfare of dogs.

Is it realistic to expect a kennel operator to meet each part of the law? I have said this many times that when entering a kennel for the first time it doesn’t take very long to establish the level of care for the dogs. The reaction of the dogs, the appearance of the dogs & physical kennel, the smell in the air. It is no different than walking into different schools. There is a feeling in the air & about the kids & teachers that establishes the quality of life in that school.

When entering a kennel where that positive energy cannot be seen or felt it is human to look around for reasons. If first impression says the dogs are well cared for then people don’t look for reasons to complain.

These are standards to be worked towards. And because it is law it can be used to quiet objectors if you are meeting the standard.

With any written standard it could be used against the operators. That is the human factor. It is in our best interests to strive towards a high standard rather than give lip service to it.

As I said, it is a starting point for discussion. Either we as mushers do it for ourselves or someone else will without consulting us.

Paul