Rivers Dog Mushers Association
Dog Mushers Association Dissociates from World Championships
Members of the Two Rivers Dog Mushers Association voted to dissociate the club from any participation in the International Federation of Sleddog Sports’ (IFSS) 2013 long distance world championship at an association meeting in September. Negative impacts on dog care due to IFSS requirements and lack of communication on the part of IFSS were the reasons given for taking the action. At the regular meeting of the Association on 1 October, the membership declined to reconsider that vote.
IFSS, with the vision of mushing becoming part of the Olympic Games, has adopted the World Anti-Doping code. Part of that code requires drug testing for banned substances of both dogs and mushers as a part of competition. The list of substances banned for dogs at IFSS races include anti-ulcer medications such as Pepcid and Prilosec. Race veterinarians for the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, as well as every other mid-distance sled dog race in North America strongly encourage the use of these medications – they prevent what used to be an expected part of long distance mushing a decade ago, dog deaths during the race. The use of anti-ulcer medications has, for many years, been considered veterinary best-practice in mid and long-distance racing, and as a result, dog deaths due to ulcers during a race have become a rarity.
TRDMA has long prided itself on the quality of dog care at its races. Requiring competitors in its races to comply with rules which go against what is accepted as quality veterinary care would be endorsing practices which can cause injury or death to dogs; it would be taking a step backwards.
No progress on revising the IFSS rules was evident prior to the October Association meeting, and TRDMA members working on the race hold little hope that the situation can be remedied. For these reasons, TRDMA feels there is no recourse other than to remove itself from having any part in the world championship. Compromising dog care for any reason is unacceptable. TRDMA encourages IFSS to revise its rules and canine anti-doping program using input from organizations such as the Yukon Quest, Iditarod, and ISDVMA to guide the effort.
For more information, contact TRDMA.
President: Jeff Garlough - 907-460-8600
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