PETA Statement: Sleep-Deprived Mushers—What About the Dogs?

For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska – Below, please find a statement from PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in response to sleep-deprived mushers’ reports that they’ve been hallucinating and falling asleep on the Iditarod trail:

Mushers are so sleep-deprived that they’re hallucinating and falling asleep on their sleds, but it’s the dogs who have to keep on running—up to 100 miles a day, with only 40 hours of rest mandated over the race’s entire span of up to about 350 hours. If mushers are passing out, even falling off the sleds, and all that they have to do is stand or sit there, imagine how debilitating this event must be for the dogs who are forced to run on, no matter how exhausted they are. PETA’s message is that if mushers want to prove that they’re endurance athletes, they should run the 1,000 miles themselves and leave the dogs out of it.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information about our campaign against the Iditarod is available on PETA’s website.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind