Formula 1 Under Fire as Iditarod Punishes Mushers Who Prevented Dogs From Freezing to Death

Formula 1 Under Fire as Iditarod Punishes Mushers Who Prevented Dogs From Freezing to Death

PETA US Pushes Racing CEO to Ensure Owner Cuts Ties With Race in Which More Than 150 Dogs Have Died

London – The 2022 Iditarod dog-sled race has ended in a debacle over officials’ shameful decision to demote and impose fines on mushers who took dogs inside during a potentially fatal storm, and PETA US fired off a letter today to Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1 (F1), urging him to ensure F1 parent company Liberty Media cuts ties with the event. F1’s sister company GCI sponsors the deadly race to the tune of more than £180,000 a year.

“There are no winners in an event that punishes people for preventing sensitive dogs from freezing to death,” says PETA Vice President Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA is calling on Formula 1 to tell its owner to steer clear of this death race.”

PETA US notes that this year’s Iditarod was saturated with chaos and cruelty. Two dogs went missing – one of whom has still not been found, and the Iditarod is failing to help search for them – a musher was apparently forced out of the race after dogs he used were found in poor condition, and dogs were attacked and one was killed during training before the race even began. Nearly 250 dogs were pulled from the trail due to exhaustion, illness, or injury, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder to pull the mushers.

Just this year, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Nutanix joined ExxonMobil – a former major sponsor that had paid the race over £191,000 a year – as well as Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Alaska Airlines, and 14 other companies that have cut ties with the Iditarod.

The PETA US campaign to push Liberty Media to do the same has included enlisting a pack of its supporters to wear husky masks and howl outside the company’s headquarters on Liberty Boulevard, purchasing stock in order to exert pressure at Liberty’s annual meetings, and sending Liberty CEO Greg Maffei 150 “bloody” dog collars – representing each of the dogs run to death in the race’s history.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, is urging its supporters to join the call for F1 to cut ties with the Iditarod.

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Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]