The provincial government has struck a task force to look into the deaths of 100 dogs allegedly at the hands of a dog sled operator last April.
In a news release issued February 2 as Pique went to press, Premier Gordon Campbell announced that he's appointed Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Dr. Terry Lake to lead a task force that will examine the deaths.
The task force will include representation from the British Columbia Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (BC SPCA) and Union of B.C. Municipalities to look into the circumstances around the killings and make recommendations to prevent such an incident happening again.
"The tragic and disturbing details that have emerged around how these dogs were inhumanely treated are not acceptable to British Columbians or to their government," Campbell said in the news release. "No creature should ever have to suffer in the manner that has been reported, and we want to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again in our province."
Lake, a veterinarian by trade, said he was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the deaths.
"We will undertake a thorough, detailed examination of the circumstances surrounding this case to ensure we take all steps necessary to ensure dogs in the dog-sledding industry are treated humanely."
The review has been tasked to look over the responsibilities, regulation and policy that governs the dog sledding industry; response by all agencies involved once they were made aware o the dog killings; and any other issues that arise during the review.
The task force is expected to examine the "chain of events" following reports of the killing to WorkSafeBC or any other agencies and why it was not forwarded to the proper authorities.
The task force report has been given a deadline of 45 days. It will be forwarded to the minister of agriculture for review, and then released to the public in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.