A TOP US bank has categorically refused to confirm claims by PETA that it ended its sponsorship of a famous dog sled race over animal cruelty allegations.
Wells Fargo has rebuffed repeated attempts by PETA to say it had concerns over the world’s top sled race.
PETA has tried to exploit the decision to end its sponsorship of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska after 30 years by claiming the famous bank has buckled under its campaigning.
However, the bank has steadfastly refused to align itself with Peta, instead pointing to commercial facts for its decision. Wells Fargo spokesman David Kennedy said the banking institution’s investment in the race has declined since 2010.
He said despite the claims to the contrary by Peta he could not discuss specific reasons for the San Francisco-based bank dropping the sponsorship altogether.
He said: ”Wells Fargo regularly reviews where we allocate our marketing resources to build and enhance relationships with customers and the broader community.“As part of this process, we have decided not to sponsor the Iditarod in 2018.”
When asked to confirm that the decision was made after viewing Sled Dogs, a controversial documentary allegedly showing cruelty to dogs in the race, Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido also stopped short of saying what PETA claims the banking giant has said.
Instead he also said the company’s marketing strategies are confidential, again quite contrary to Peta’s claims.
Race sponsors have meanwhile accused activists including PETA of pressuring corporate sponsors like Wells Fargo with “manipulative information” about the treatment of the dogs.
Iditarod Trail committee chief executive Stan Hooley said in a statement that Wells Fargo and other sponsors have been targeted with “manipulative misinformation” by PETA and others.
“These misguided activists are implying that the Iditarod condones and engages in cruelty to sled dogs…,” he said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.“We honour the sled dogs who participate in the Iditarod. “We take every step to ensure our canine athletes are provided the very best care possible on the trail, and always treated with respect.”
Some people in the dog-sled industry – including a rookie Iditarod musher featured in the film – have also criticised the documentary as biased and one-sided.
The race still has four top-level sponsors, called Principal Partners, including Exxon Mobil, the Alaska mine Donlin Gold, Alaska cable company GCI and an Anchorage car dealer.