Husky Dogs

Husky Dogs


Husky dogs have been banned from Antarctica since 1994 because of concern that dogs might introduce diseases such as canine distemper that might be transferred to seals.


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Annex II to the Environmental Protocol (Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora) required that dogs were removed from Antarctica by April 1994. This ban was introduced because of concern that dogs might introduce diseases such as canine distemper that might be transferred to seals, and that they could break free and disturb or attack the wildlife. It was also thought to be inconsistent for the Protocol to have strict controls on the introduction of non-native species, but at the same time allow huskies to be bred and used in Antarctica.

Dogs were taken to the Antarctic on the early 'heroic age' expeditions at the turn of the 20th Century. They were instrumental in helping the Norwegian explorer Amundsen and his team to be the first to reach the South Pole in 1911. The fact that the Norwegians were good and experienced dog handlers was thought by many experts to be one of the main reasons that they were able to reach the pole before Scott and his team. Since those days, dogs have been used extensively for polar travel and the support of scientific work. Although dogs were slower than vehicles, they were considered to be safer as they were not so heavy and it was thought that huskies also had an awareness of crevasses.


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