(back to Home Page) Animal Welfare
  Safety and Health of the Dogs. The welfare of the dogs is always paramount in a sled dog race.  The International Sled Dog Racing Association gives the highest priority to the welfare of the canine athletes that are our partners in the wonderful world of sled dog sports.  To underscore that commitment, each sanctioned event is provided with our Animal Welfare policy as an important component of their sanctioning materials.  The full text of the Animal Welfare Policy is presented below;

Animal Welfare Policy

A. Animal Welfare (PDF copy)

Participants in any sanctioned event agree to abide by the following statement: There shall be no cruel, inhumane or abusive treatment of any dog, through deliberate action or inaction, through knowledge or ignorance, with or without implement, nor shall anyone deny a dog adequate care.

Examples of willful acts considered to be in violation include (but not limited to):

1. Continuing to race a dog when it is injured, ill, or too fatigued.
2. Maintaining dogs in obese or mal-nourished condition and asking them to compete in race situations competitively.
3. Disciplining a dog out of anger rather than a means of correction.

All violations of this policy shall be brought to the Board of Directors for record. For violations not specifically covered in this policy, "Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Sled Dog Care Guidelines" will be used as reference.

B. Injury

Any injury that occurs to a dog at a sanctioned event shall be reported to the Race Marshal, so that a log may be kept in order to eliminate further injuries. This report must not be used solely to find that any abuse has occurred. This policy shall also be in effect for dogs that expire while at a sanctioned event or because of their attendance at an event. The outcome of any Veterinary care should also be reported.

This report shall contain:


The suspected injury
The location the injury occurred (at the event)
Possible cause of the injury
What first aid was applied
Whether Veterinary services were sought
Any findings from a Veterinary examination. (either at the event or post event)

These reports will be kept in a file with the Race Marshal for the race season and then turned over to the Director of Timing. The Director of Timing will maintain a club record of injuries. The record will be kept on file with the hope that further injuries can be avoided.

C. Reporting Procedure

Suspected infractions of any portion of this policy must be reported to the Race Marshal within one hour of the infraction. This report can be verbal but must then be followed by a written report within one half hour of the verbal report. NO action can be taken without a written report.

D. Definitions

The following definitions shall be used for enforcement of this policy:

ABUSE is an action that inflicts excessive or unnecessary pain or injury to a dog.

DISCIPLINE is an action that causes a desired reaction. Discipline is the act which takes place at the instance of the action to be corrected (Not Later).

INJURY causes a dog pain or suffering in normal use or tenderness to the touch.

ADEQUATE CARE is positive interaction, thus providing proper food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions and Veterinary medical attention needed to maintain a state of good health.

E. Enforcement

The Race Marshal and The Board of Directors make up the enforcement panel. The Race Marshal shall be the key focal point for all violations. All reports of violations shall first be brought to the Race Marshal. The Race Marshal will be the chief investigator and will compile and bring the facts to the Board of Directors. The Enforcement Panel will assess all violations and institute all penalties.

F. Penalties

Penalties for violations of this policy may include any of the following as deemed appropriate by the enforcement panel.

All parties involved in the report will be notified and action by the enforcement panel will be in a timely manner.

1. Acquittal: Written letter confirming acquittal of any violation.
2. Warnings: Written warnings will be issued for minor violations.
3. Disqualification/ Suspensions: Disqualification and/or suspensions could exclude the member from participation privileges in club events. A suspension will require a simple majority decision of the Enforcement Panel.
4. Dismissal: A dismissal will include a letter stating that membership and/or participation privileges have been revoked. A violation which leads to this action will also be reported to the Board of Directors of neighboring clubs. A dismissal will require a 2/3 majority decision of the Enforcement Panel. A member receiving three warnings or two disqualification / suspensions can be cause for dismissal.
5. Any person convicted in a court of law for animal abuse or neglect will be denied membership and racing privileges.

Adopted by the Board of Directors,
September, 23rd, 1998
Fairbanks, Alaska


last modified - 1/1/2007 1:59:28 PM