HR 13: Relating to the rules of the Iditarod Trail Committee concerning the deaths of dogs that occur during the running of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race.
00HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 13 01 Relating to the rules of the Iditarod Trail Committee concerning the deaths of 02 dogs that occur during the running of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: 04 WHEREAS the Iditarod Dog Sled Race has gained national and international attention 05 since its inception and is considered to be a strenuous athletic event for both mushers and their 06 animals; and 07 WHEREAS each year the Iditarod Trail Committee has taken the time to review its 08 policies and rules in an attempt to make the race a better event for all participants, including 09 the dogs that run the race; and 10 WHEREAS, in recent years, the Iditarod Trail Committee has been pressured by 11 animal activists to review the committee's rules to make sure that animals are protected even 12 more than in the past, often beyond reasonable standards of animal care; and 13 WHEREAS the Iditarod Trail Committee adopted Rule 18 at its April 21, 1995, 14 meeting that was endorsed by the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medicine Association
01 (I.S.D.V.M.A.), an association of veterinarians who administer care to the dogs in the Iditarod; 02 and 03 WHEREAS some of the mushers were opposed to this rule and voiced their concern 04 at the musher's meeting held before this year's race; and 05 WHEREAS an agreement was reached that provided that, if a gross necropsy could 06 determine the cause of death or if the cause of death was determined to be "within the 07 control" of the musher, that musher would be withdrawn from the race; and 08 WHEREAS Rick Swenson is well known throughout the dog sledding community for 09 taking excellent care of his dogs; and 10 WHEREAS Rick Swenson had an unfortunate death occur with one of his dogs, the 11 cause of which could not be determined; and 12 WHEREAS the rules committee, the I.S.D.V.M.A., and the Iditarod Trail Committee 13 Board of Directors implemented Rule 18 and disqualified Rick Swenson from the race stating, 14 "By enacting this rule, we believe that it is better to risk sending an innocent person home for 15 the year rather than do nothing about preventable deaths"; 16 BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives strongly urges the Iditarod Trail 17 Committee to review Rule 18 and clarify the rule so that, in situations like Rick Swenson's, 18 mushers are not unfairly judged and ruled guilty before being allowed to prove their 19 innocence.