Campaigners from PETA have sent Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali a dead dog prop in a bid to persuade the Italian to end his company’s backing of Iditarod – a notorious dog-sled race across Alaska’s frozen tundra.
More than 150 dogs have been killed as a result of this event since the first race took place in 1973, and animal rights groups have long campaigned against the deadly race.
“F1’s sister company CGCI (under parent company Liberty Media) sponsors the deadly race to the tune of more than £180,000 a year,” PETA emphasised in a statement sent to Formula1News.co.uk.
As part of its campaign against the event, PETA – an animal rights group founded over four decades ago – sent Domenicali a dead dog prop and a letter “urging him to tell Liberty Media to cut ties with the shameful event.”
This comes after a number of companies, including ExxonMobil and Coca-Cola, pulled their sponsorship of the Iditarod.
They decided to pull their sponsorship of the event “after seeing video footage of hideously cruel living conditions for survivors of the race,” PETA told Formula1News.co.uk.
“Dogs are forced to run until their bodies break down and they die after inhaling their own vomit in the Iditarod, yet Liberty Media has not yet joined the other big companies who have condemned the race,” said PETA vice president of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi.
“PETA is calling on Formula 1 to tell its owner to hit the brakes on Iditarod support.”
On an action page on their website, PETA UK drew parallels between Formula 1 drivers and the dogs forced to take part in the Iditarod dog-sled race.
“Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, and the other daring Formula 1 (F1) drivers race because they love it, earn fabulous sums of money, and retire when they wish to.
“This is not the case for the poor, often underfed, even beaten dogs used in Alaska’s notorious Iditarod dog-sled race.
“They are chained up outdoors in the ice and snow between races with almost nothing for shelter and have even been killed when they are injured, sick, or too old to win cash for their mushers.”