February 1, 2011

Mass Sled Dog Slaughter Investigated In Canada

The killing of 100 husky dogs used during the 2010 Winter Olympics was reportedly carried out by one worker over two days in April 2010 with a shotgun and a knife, AFP reports.

The case came to light on Monday after an unnamed worker claimed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of killing the dogs, and was reportedly awarded compensation from British Columbia worker's board.

Reports included descriptions of injured dogs crawling out of a mass grave. Marcie Moriarty of the Society for Prevention of Animal Cruelty, the lead agency in the investigation, told the Vancouver Sun, "The way he describes (in the board's report) multiple shots and faces blown off and coming back on a second day is gruesome."

"The way this employee describes it, it's a massacre absolutely, a criminal code offense. These dogs were killed in front of the other dogs that were all tethered up." The man's personal injury lawyer Cory Steinberg told news radio station CKNW, "It wasn't always a clean, one-shot kill. Inevitably he ended up seeing and having to put the end to some horrific scenes."

"We've opened a police file and assigned an investigator," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair told AFP. The law firm refused to comment on the criminal investigation and Outdoor Adventures did not return repeated calls from AFP.

Local media said the dogs were killed because business slumped in the two months following the Olympics and they were no longer needed by tourism companies Outdoor Adventures and Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc., which sell dog-sled rides to tourists. The company's website, with photos of huskies and sleds, however, continues to advertise a dog sled ride "as a once in a lifetime experience (with) your team of energetic and lovable Alaskan Racing Huskies."

Canadian law allows a possible five years in jail for injuring or endangering an animal, while animal cruelty is punishable by a fine and 18 months in jail.


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