No dogs, please!

No dogs, please! HUSKIES will soon stop hauling sledges in the freezing reaches of Antarctica. In accordance with the Antarctic Treaty Environmental Protocol, sled dogs will be banned from the South Pole from April 1, 1994. They are being retired because they are spreading canine infection to seals, say environmentalists.

The animals were introduced on the icy continent by a British expedition in 1898 and have served scientists faithfully ever since Roald Amundsen used them to explore glaciers in Antarctica in 1911.

The issue was first raised in 1990, when more than half the North Sea seal population was wiped out in a strange epidemic that was tentatively linked to canine distemper. The British Antarctic Survey immediately stopped breeding the huskies and their number has dwindled from 400 in 1990 to just 14 today.

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