Yesterday I wrote my concern that British Columbia's new Sled Dog Standards of Care and Sled Dog Codes of Practice would result in a race between various legal jurisdictions to determine which could be the firstest with the worstest (or strictest) regulations. It would appear that the Rush to Regulate has already begun.
According to an article on the CBCNews Website, highly respected Yukon Territory dog musher Frank Turner has called for Canada's three northwest territories to enact similar laws within their jurisdictions. According to the article Frank he plans to work as an advocate to ensure tough laws to
protect sled dogs from neglect or cruelty are passed in the North.
Meanwhile, tomorrow another public workshop will be conducted in Alaska to discuss provisions in a proposed new animal care standards regulation for all domestic animals in our State. Tomorrow's workshop refers specifically to proposed standards of care for dogs. Unlike the regulations enacted by B.C. and proposed for the northwest territories by Frank Turner, Alaska's regulations are intended to pertain to all domestic dogs, regardless of their job or role in life.
I would suggest that dog mushers pay close attention to current events within their communities, counties, boroughs, states or provinces, as most of us will be facing a new wave of regulations, often pushed by people with no understanding of the sport at all, and in many cases will have to fight hard in tough regulatory and political venues to ensure those regulations don't become so onerous as to effectively outlaw our sport.