For Immediate Release:
December 22, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Wasilla, Alaska – Following the announced rerouting of the Iditarod during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Monica Bando, the PETA Foundation’s captive-wildlife veterinarian, sent an urgent letter this morning to Rob Urbach, CEO of the Iditarod Trail Committee, urging him to cancel the race because of the danger to public health.
The full letter is available here. Below, please find a statement from Dr. Bando:
Changing the course of the Iditarod won’t protect dogs from being infected with the novel coronavirus. If people from around the world gather in Anchorage, the danger of transmission will be high—and since dogs can’t socially distance and 81% of those who finish the race end up with lung damage even under normal circumstances, the result could be dire. PETA is calling on the Iditarod Trail Committee to cancel the race now for the safety of dogs and Alaskans alike.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.