BC's SLED DOG STANDARD OF CARE REGULATION:

BC's Sleddog Standard of Care Regulation was developed and put into practice on October 1st 2012. It was designed to supplement the voluntary sleddog code of (best) practice which had been developed, already, in January 2012.

The regulation provided clarity to both animal owners and law enforcement officials about specific and targeted legal requirements for sleddog farms for things such as containment, health and working conditions. The regulation was made enforceable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.


REGULATION CONTENTS:

Contents

PART 1 – DEFINITIONS AND REGULATED ACTIVITIES

  • • Definitions
  • • Sled dog activities

PART 2 – KEEPING AND CARING FOR SLED DOGS

Division 1 – Containment of Sled Dogs

  • • Containment areas
  • • Construction and maintenance of pens and tethers
  • • Pen requirements
  • • Tether requirements
  • • Dog house requirements

Division 2 – Sled Dog Health

  • • Food and water
  • • Grooming and nail care
  • • Socialization
  • • Exercise
  • • Release from containment area
  • • Illness or injury

Division 3 – Breeding

  • Females in heat

PART 3 – WORKING AND TRANSPORTATION

Division 1 – Working Sled Dogs

  • • Working conditions
  • • Health of working sled dogs
  • • Equipment

Division 2 – Transportation

  • • Fitness for transport
  • • Dog box requirements
  • • Travel requirements

PART 4 – KILLING SLED DOGS

  • Killing sled dogs

PART 5 – RECORDS, PLANS AND OFFENCES

  • • Required records
  • • Life cycle plan required
  • • Offences

SCHEDULE A

SCHEDULE B

SCHEDULE C


PART 1 – DEFINITIONS AND REGULATED ACTIVITIES


Definitions

In this regulation:

“containment area means

a sled dog’s pen, or the area within which a tethered sled dog may roam;

“dog box” means a crate or other container intended for use in transporting a sleddog, but not intended for use as a pen;

“dog house” means a shelter, provided for one or more sled dogs, that meets the requirements of section 7 [dog house requirements];

“pen” means a contained area from which a dog is unable to escape, and includes
(a) a yard,
(b) a run, and
(c) a cage, kennel or other structure;

“registered veterinarian” means
(a) if a sled dog is in British Columbia, a registered veterinarian within the meaning of the Act, and
(b) if a sled dog is temporarily in a jurisdiction other than British Columbia, an individual who is authorized under an enactment of the jurisdiction to practise veterinary medicine;

“rehome” means to place a former sled dog in the care of another guardian when the dog is no longer used for sle

dog activities;

“sled dog” means a dog kept primarily or used routinely for a sled dog activity;

“sled dog activity” means the keeping and use of, or the breeding of, a sled dog for dog-powered or load-bearing activity, including pulling
(a) a person on skis or in or on a vehicle or any other mechanism, and
(b) a vehicle or weight,
whether over snow, on dry land or in another environment;

“species-typical behaviours” include running, jumping  and safe physical contact with other sled dogs;

“work” means the participation of a sled dog in a sled dog activity, including training and conditioning to participate in a sled dog activity.


Sled dog activities

Sled dog activities are prescribed as regulated activities for the purposes of the Act.


PART 2 – KEEPING & CARING FOR SLED DOGS


Division 1 – Containment of Sled Dogs

Containment areas

1)      An operator must ensure that each containment area

(a) includes a dog house, and
(b) provides sufficient room for each sled dog within the containment area to

        (i) move freely, and (ii) urinate and defecate away from areas commonly used for eating and sleeping.
2)     An operator must ensure that each sled dog in a containment area has sufficient opportunities to engage in species-typical behaviours.

3)     An operator must

(a)   clean containment areas of fecal matter at least once each day, and
(b)   ensure that containment areas, and any structures or equipment within them, are maintained in a sanitary condition.

Construction and maintenance of pens and tethers

4)    An operator must ensure that pens and tethers meet all of the following requirements:

(a)    sled dogs must be unable to escape from a pen or tether;
(b)    materials used to construct a pen, or from which a tether is made, must be durable;
(c)    pens and tethers must be designed and constructed or made so as to prevent sled dogs from injuring themselves;
(d)    pens must be free of standing water;
(e)    pens and tethers must be maintained in good repair.

5)     Pen requirements

An operator must ensure that pens are constructed to meet the following minimum space requirements:

(a)   if one sled dog is to be kept in the pen, 9.3 m2;
(b)   if 2 sled dogs are to be kept in the pen, 13.0 m2;
(c)   if more than 2 sled dogs are to be kept in the pen, 13.0 m2 plus sufficient space for each sled dog to   (i)   engage in species-typical behaviours, and (ii) maintain adequate social distances from other sled dogs.

6      Tether requirements

(1)   An operator must ensure that tethers

    (a)  are safe for sled dogs,
    (b)  are of a size and weight that will not cause discomfort to tethered sled dogs,
    (c)  are at least 1.83 m long, and
    (d)  have, at the collar end, at least one swivel that can turn 360°.

(2)   An operator must not use a choke collar as part of a tethering method.

(3)    An operator must ensure that tethering methods substantially conform to one of the methods illustrated in Schedule A.

(4)   An operator must ensure that tethered sled dogs may engage in safe physical contact with other sled dogs, with

    (a)  the lowest possible risk of tangling, and
    (b)  no overlap of adjacent tethers.

7     Dog house requirements         

(1) An operator must ensure that dog houses provide an enclosed area that is large enough to permit sled dogs to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably.

(2) An operator must ensure that dog houses are constructed and maintained so as to provide

    (a)  shelter from rain, wind, snow, sun and other elements, and
    (b)  protection from excessive heat and cold.

8     Food and water

(1)  Subject to subsection (2), an operator must ensure that each sled dog is fed, at least once every 24 hours, a balanced diet that is sufficient to meet the sled dog’s caloric and nutritional requirements.

(a) keep a record of those directions, and

     (b) take them into account when determining the sled dog’s caloric and nutritional requirements.

(3)  An operator must ensure that each sled dog has access to clean and palatable drinking water, in adequate quantities to meet its needs and prevent dehydration.

(4)  An operator must ensure that food and water containers are kept clean and free of contamination.

9     Grooming and nail care

(1)  An operator must ensure that each sled dog is groomed sufficiently to ensure that
      (a) the sled dog is free of discomfort from excessive heat, and
      (b) the sled dog’s coat is free of matting, parasites and coat-related illness or disease.

(2)  An operator must ensure that the nails of each sled dog are maintained so as prevent
      (a) penetration of the skin or foot pads, and
      (b) digital displacement.

10     Socialization

An operator must ensure that each sled dog is socialized throughout its life in a manner that

  1.       • minimizes behavioural problems,
  2.       • includes direct contact with humans and other animals,
  3.       • includes a variety of stimuli and environments, and
  4.       • maximizes the chances that the sled dog may be successfully rehomed and thrive in a new environment.

11     Exercise

An operator must ensure that each sled dog

  1.       • receives sufficient exercise to maintain its health and well-being, and
  2.       • is directly supervised when using exercise equipment, including swimming pools and treadmills.

12     Release from containment area

(1) An operator must ensure that each sled dog is released from its containment area, at least once in each 24 hour period, for the purposes of socialization and exercise.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in any of the following circumstances:
      (a) if the sled dog should not be moved or released due to illness or injury;
      (b) if the sled dog is a female that

  1. • is within one week of her anticipated whelping date, or
  2. • has whelped within 2 weeks previously;
      (c) if the sled dog is younger than 6 weeks old;
      (d) if extreme weather conditions would make it unsafe for the sled dog to be released;
      (e) if the sled dog
  1.       • has, within the previous 24 hour period, participated in a racing activity or other activity involving significant physical exertion, and
  2.       • requires rest as a result of participating in the activity referred to in subparagraph (i);
(e) if a registered veterinarian has given direction that the sled dog not be released.

13     Illness or injury

(1) An operator must ensure that the body condition of each sled dog is monitored regularly.

  1.       • An operator must ensure that the body condition of each sled dog is monitored regularly.
  2.       • An operator must seek the assistance and direction of a registered veterinarian if the body condition of a sled dog, as determined according to the scale set out in Schedule B, is
    1.       • less than 3, or
    2.       • 7 or more.
  3. If an operator suspects or becomes aware that a sled dog may be suffering a communicable disease, the operator must
    1.       • immediately isolate the sled dog from people and other animals in a manner that will prevent spread of the disease,
    2.       • regularly supervise the isolated sled dog, and
    3.       • immediately seek the assistance and direction of a registered veterinarian.
  4. If an operator suspects or becomes aware that a sled dog is experiencing severe pain or is suffering deteriorating health or serious injury, the operator must immediately seek the assistance and direction of a registered veterinarian.
  5. For the purposes of this section,
    1.       • the assistance and direction of a registered veterinarian may be through indirect consultation or direct examination, and
    2.       • an operator must comply with the directions of the registered veterinarian.

Division 3 – Breeding

14     Females in heat
(1) In this section, “intact male” means a male sled dog that is capable of breeding.

  1.       • An operator must ensure that each female sled dog that is in heat is separated from all intact males, unless the operator intends to breed the female.
  2.       • An operator who intends to breed a female sled dog must ensure that the female has access to only one intact male at a time.

PART 3: WORKING AND TRANSPORTATION


Division 1 – Working Sled Dogs

15     Working conditions

(1) An operator must ensure that a sled dog that does not appear willing to work is not dragged or otherwise physically coerced into work.

  1. An operator must ensure that
    1.       • work does not cause a sled dog to be in distress, and
    2.       • training and discipline methods do not cause a sled dog to be in fear or distress.
  2. An operator must not work a sled dog if the sled dog is likely to suffer hypothermia, hyperthermia, frostbite, dehydration or other illnesses or injuries related to the environment.

16     Health of working sled dogs

(1) An operator must not work a sled dog that is suffering from illness or injury unless the operator
      (a) seeks the assistance and direction of a registered veterinarian, and
      (b) complies with the directions of the registered veterinarian.
(2) An operator must not permit a sled dog to be administered a drug of any kind, including analgesics and anti-inflammatories, for the purpose of
      (a) enhancing the work performance of the sled dog, or
      (b) working the sled dog beyond its natural abilities.

17     Equipment

(1) An operator must ensure that all equipment that may come into contact   with a working sled dog, including harnesses and collars, is

    1.       • fitted properly so as not to cause discomfort, injury or difficulty breathing,
    2.       • clean, and
    3.       • in good repair.
  1.       • An operator must not use a choke collar while working a sled dog.
  2.       • An operator must carry, at all times while working sled dogs, an appropriate tool for use in cutting and removing lines or other equipment in an emergency.

Division 2 – Transportation

18     Fitness for transport

(1) Subject to subsection (2), an operator must not permit a sled dog to be transported if the sled dog
      (a) is displaying any sign of shock, exhaustion, fever, dehydration or an injury or illness that is more than trivial       in nature,
      (b) is a female that

    1.       • is within one week of her anticipated whelping date, or
    2.       • has whelped within 2 weeks before the date of transport.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a sled dog being transported for the purposes of receiving the assistance of a registered veterinarian.

19     Dog box requirements

An operator must ensure that dog boxes are adequately ventilated and are constructed and maintained to meet the following requirements:

  1.       • a sled dog must be able to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably within a dog box;
  2.       • a sled dog must be unable to escape from a dog box;
  3.       • materials used to construct dog boxes must be durable;
  4.       • dog boxes must be maintained in good repair;
  5.       • dog boxes must be securely attached to the transport vehicle.

18     Travel requirements

(1) An operator must ensure that a transported sled dog arrives at its destination in a sanitary condition, comfortable and not in distress.
(2) An operator must ensure that, during transport, a sled dog is removed from its dog box regularly for the purpose of feeding, watering and elimination.


PART 4 – KILLING SLED DOGS


21     Killing sled dogs

(1) An operator must not permit a sled dog to be killed unless the operator

    1.       • reasonably believes that the sled dog is in critical distress within the meaning of section 12 (1) of the Act, or
    2.       • has made reasonable efforts to rehome the sled dog, but those efforts have been unsuccessful.
  1. An operator must keep a record of the following, as applicable:
    1.       • the reason for the belief described in subsection (1) (a);
    2.       • the efforts that have been made under subsection (1) (b), including why those efforts were not successful.
  2. A person must not kill a sled dog unless
    1.       • in the case of a registered veterinarian, the registered veterinarian does so in accordance with the standards of the practice of veterinary medicine,
    2.       • in the case of an authorized agent acting under section 12 of the Act, the authorized agent does so in accordance with the directions of a registered veterinarian or the guidelines referred to in paragraph (c), or
    3.       • in any other case, the person does so in accordance with the guidelines setout in “Guidelines for euthanasia of domestic animals by firearms” by J. (Al) Longair, et al., published in Volume 32 of the Canadian Veterinary Journal in December, 1991, beginning at page 724.
  3. A person who kills a sled dog must ensure that all of the following requirements are met:
    1.       • death must occur quickly, and without unnecessary pain, suffering or distress;
    2.       • if death is not apparent immediately on attempting to kill the sled dog, a second attempt must be made immediately;
    3.       • other persons and animals are protected from physical and psychological harm during the killing process.
  4.       • An operator must ensure that a sled dog is dead before leaving the sled dog’s body.

PART 5 – RECORDS, PLANS AND OFFENCES


22     Required records
(1) An operator must keep records that permit ready identification of each sled dog, including
      (a) the sled dog’s photograph, name, sex, breed and distinctive markings, and
      (b) if any, the sled dog’s registration, microchip or tattoo number.

  1.       • An operator must keep all of the following records in respect of each sled dog:
    1.       • the sled dog’s birth date and date of death, if known;
    2. if the operator acquired the sled dog after its birth, the date on which the operator acquired the sled dog;
    3.       • if the operator disposed of the sled dog before its death, the date on which the operator disposed of the sled dog, including the manner of disposition;
    4.       • the records required under sections 8 (2) (a) and 21 (2).
  2.       • An operator must keep all of the following health records in respect of each sled dog:
    1.       • records stating each date the sled dog was weighed, and the sled dog’s weight on that date;
    2.       • vaccination and deworming records;
    3.       • records respecting all surgical procedures;
    4.       • records respecting all illnesses or injuries, other than illnesses or injuries that are trivial in nature;
    5.       • records of all known and suspected drug or food allergies;
    6.       • if applicable, records respecting the breeding and whelping of the sled dog.
  3. If an operator was the person responsible for a sled dog when it died, the operator must keep a record of the cause of death and the manner and location of the disposition of the sled dog’s body.

23     Life cycle plan required
An operator must prepare, for each sled dog, a life cycle plan substantially in the form set out in Schedule C.

24     Offences
A person who contravenes any of sections 3 to 11, 12 (1), 13, 14 (2) or (3), 15 to 17, 18 (1) or 19 to 23 commits an offence.


SCHEDULE A


Tethering methods

For the purposes of section 6 (3) of the regulation, tethering methods must substantially conform to one of the following:


SCHEDULE B


Determining body condition

1 For the purposes of section 13 (2) of the regulation, the body condition of a sled dog is to be determined according to the following scale:


SCHEDULE C


Life cycle plan

1        For the purposes of section 23 of the regulation, a life cycle plan must be substantially in the following form:

SLED DOG LIFE CYCLE PLAN

Date [Day/Month/Year]

Dog Name

.......................................................................................................................................................

Primary Sled Dog Activity

[ ] Hobby   [ ] Racing   [ ] Skijoring   [ ] Other (specify)

.......................................................................................................................................................

Why is this sled dog suitable for this activity?

........................................................................................................................................................

........................................................................................................................................................

........................................................................................................................................................

What guidance or advice has been solicited with regard to operating a sled dog operation?

........................................................................................................................................................

........................................................................................................................................................

........................................................................................................................................................
Estimated Annual Budget for............................. (Year) (update annually)

Activity

Cost

Staff Required

 

 

(Person Hours)

Housing

 

 

Nutrition

 

 

Grooming

 

 

Socialization activities

 

 

Health care

 

 

Training

 

 

Equipment

 

 

Rehoming

 

 

Euthanasia

 

 

What activities will be undertaken to socialize the sled dog? Consider the socialization needs throughout the stages of the sled dog’s life (puppy to retirement).
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
Identify the registered veterinarian or veterinary clinic that will be engaged to provide care for the sled dog:
........................................................................................................................................................
Will this sled dog be used for breeding? Yes/No
If this sled dog WILL be used for breeding, identify the desirable characteristics for which you are breeding. Consider the undesirable heritable characteristics that can be passed on to future generations.
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
If this sled dog WILL NOT be used for breeding, will it be spayed or neutered? Yes/No
If this sled dog WILL NOT be used for breeding, what measures will be taken to ensure that unwanted puppies are not produced?
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
How will the sled dog be retired or rehomed after its working life is over?
[ ] To other operators   [ ] To non-operators as a pet       [ ] Other (specify)
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................

What special measures will be taken to maximize the success of rehoming the sled dog?
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
If the sled dog is deceased, describe the circumstances of its death:
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................

[Provisions relevant to the enactment of this regulation: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 372, section 26 (2) (c), (e) to (h), (3) and (4)]