Video: PETA US Pleads With Lewis Hamilton to Reject F1’s Ties to Deadly Dog Race
London – Yesterday, PETA US supporters “joined” Lewis Hamilton’s panel during the 2023 Forbes Iconoclast Summit at Pier Sixty in New York and issued a heartfelt appeal (which garnered a thumbs-up from Hamilton) to the vegan athlete and devoted dog dad to speak out against Formula 1’s (F1) ties to the Iditarod, a gruelling 1,000-mile dog-sled race in Alaska in which more than 150 dogs have died. F1’s owner, Liberty Media, still supports this cruel race via its subsidiary GCI’s sponsorship of $250,000 (approximately £199,000) per year – and protesters want Hamilton to use his platform to call for the sponsorship to be pulled. Video footage and photos of the “plead-in” are available here.
“Unlike Formula 1 athletes, the dogs used in the Iditarod aren’t willing participants – they are forced to run four marathons a day for up to two weeks through snow, ice, and harsh winds, the ‘reward’ for many being death,” says PETA Vice President of UK Programmes and Operations Elisa Allen. “PETA is calling on Lewis Hamilton to stand up for dogs and demand that F1’s owner stop sponsoring this dreadful race.”
Up to half the dogs who start the Iditarod don’t finish it. During this year’s race – which had the smallest field of mushers in the event’s history – approximately 175 dogs were pulled off the trail due to exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder. The race ended in controversy after the winner was caught on video dragging exhausted dogs towards a checkpoint.
The leading cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod is aspiration pneumonia – caused by inhaling their own vomit – and the race’s official death toll doesn’t include countless others who were killed simply because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season while chained next to dilapidated boxes or plastic barrels in the bitter cold, a practice exposed in a PETA US undercover investigation.
Alaska Airlines, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Jack Daniel’s, Wells Fargo, ExxonMobil, and many other companies have cut ties with the Iditarod after learning from PETA US how dogs suffer and die because of the race.
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.uk or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram.
Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]