As soon as the sled dog massacre came to light AAS was asked to support a ban on dog-sledding. As we always do, we told supporters the truth, that government can't ban a legal industry, but because the government was forced by voter outrage to appear to care it would probably write some regulations. We were right.
What a tangled web: the SPCA ignores reports of the dogs' suffering, possibly because it knows that government wouldn't want it splashed around the world that Olympic Whistler sled dogs were seized for cruelty; then it refuses to rehome any; then it doesn't even tell other groups that the dogs need homes; then it says if it had taken the dogs it would have killed them; then it madly makes things worse by claiming that sled dogs aren't rehomable (even though in the past it has boasted that it rehomed sled dogs); and then it denies saying what it has clearly said. Thanks to the SPCA almost unbelievably immature handling of its job the government has to throw sand in the eyes of outraged BC citizens and try to cover the SPCA's sorry ass. It does that by creating a task force of nonentities and industry players headed by a vet who is an MLA (what amazing luck for the government and the SPCA!) who admits to killing hundreds of animals and who agrees with the SPCA that sled dogs aren't rehomable, clearly an attempt to legitimize the SPCA's incredibly stupid statement to that effect. He only earns more outrage and is widely discredited. There doesn't appear to be anyone capable of organizing a rock fight when it comes to simple animal welfare. It boggles the imagination how enraged the government must have been with the SPCA for creating a "viral" p.r. tourism disaster.
This is truly contorted: the enforcement arm of the SPCA is plainly a government agency, but by denying that, the government doesn't have to pay for PCA Act enforcement and doesn't get covered in SPCA dog-do when the SPCA blows it, as it did spectacularly over the sled dog disaster. And it suits the SPCA's purpose of maintaining secrecy to also deny that it is a government agency (Quelle horreur! That would make it accessible to FOI searches!) but that denial makes it difficult for the SPCA to argue that the government ought to pay millions of dollars a year to the SPCA for it to enforce the PCA Act. What a dilemma. But the death of the dogs, because the SPCA didn't do its job, just may do the trick of forcing the government to give the SPCA the millions it wants afterall.
It was never a possibility that government could ban a whole industry. Government can't even ban the tobacco industry. The average animal lover, not understanding that, has howled for a ban, so promoting a ban is where the money is even though it's almost beyond the realm of possibility that organizations comprised of experienced adults believe that a ban is possible, as several, playing to the gallery, have said they do. Even the SPCA hadn't the gall to pretend that a ban is possible, not this time, not when it was already in such hot water with the government for making so many outrageously dishonest statements, though it did back a call to ban pet store sales of puppies when animal lovers howled for that too.
The SPCA can't think that one part of a legal business can be put out of business (putting pet stores out of business while leaving far worse backyard breeders, the internet, and puppymillers in business), but it bought the gratitude of pet lovers all over BC by saying that it supported a ban on pet store sales of pups rather than saying that the best place to sell animals (since selling animals is legal) is in a public store where the treatment of the animals can be seen by everyone and where the municipality can write regulations and pull business licences if the regulations aren't followed. That is what AAS truthfully said, but we appear to have been the only ones to care less for donations than what will truly help animals. In fact, if AAS were in charge, the ONLY place where pets could be purchased would be in a public, regulated, licenced store.