This ‘race’ uses the dogs as chattel slaves (Whitehorse Star, Feb 14, 2014). Abolish the Quest (Yukon News, Feb 14)

The Yukon Quest is built on the exploitation and killing of dogs, and is inhumane! Is this an “event” to be proud of? Of course not!

Being a ‘mediated’ world, the media continue to show preference to stories demonstrating human supremacy over animals by the exploitation and killing of non- humans.

At least the [Whitehorse] newspapers permit ongoing opinions/concerns with respect to non-humans and how they are treated/exploited.

Knowing what we know, how can anyone ethically support the Yukon Quest? Why do the Quest’s promoters turn a blind eye to these problems?

We cannot hide behind ignorance.

Are the Quest’s promoters in denial about the inherent cruelty in the dog mushing industry? Or do they simply not care? Would tourism in the Yukon suffer without the labour of the dogs?

I can’t seem to get anyone from the Tourism department nor the Quest office to answer these simple questions.

This race is all about people, not dogs. The dogs are chattel slaves: they are resources, property to be used for human entertainment, and can be killed and/or discarded when they are no longer useful.

When will we see an end to the spending of public money on this race? Stop the propaganda “mush!”

CBC North appears to have many resources at the ready to follow the Quest human race from start to finish.

And yet: why doesn’t the CBC follow the complete process required to build the perfect “dog team” (slavery, as I call it)?

Why don’t you, CBC, ask some tough questions for a change, instead of paying mindless tributes to the Yukon Quest every year?

It’s past time: the Yukon Quest needs to be abolished – shut down for good!

For the dogs!

Mike Grieco, Whitehorse

Shot bear was taken unfair advantage of. By Whitehorse Star on May 29, 2013

Re: “Shooting of bear hurt a lot of people” (Star, May 24).

The legal destruction of yet another bear is a deadly indication of “wildlife management” gone wrong!

Is the Department of Environment truly serious about addressing human/wildlife conflicts with respect to bears?

If so, why are they issuing permits to kill/destroy (they call it “harvest”) bears soon after and prior to hibernation? Is this ethical?

How is killing when you don’t need to kill, respecting wildlife?

Regardless of one’s opinion/position on hunting (killing) , these bears have been habituated to humans who showed no threat to them.

The person who killed this animal took full advantage of this situation and destroyed his life.

Bears and other wildlife need and deserve protection from humans. And humans need to lose the right to kill them if the department truly backs its words with respect to protecting wildlife. Being hypocritical is killing wildlife.

Guns don’t kill wildlife; people kill wildlife, with guns!

Mike Grieco

Let video tape tell the true story By Whitehorse Star on May 31, 2013

Re: “MLAs protest Alaska-set show’s Yukon namesake” (Star, April 26).

This is an open letter to independent MLA Darius Elias and Environment Minister Currie Dixon.

Trapping animals is cruel and inhumane by nature – no matter if it’s done in Alaska, Yukon or some other planet.

Other than the fact that traps are not selective – as they can and do pose the same cruel and sad fate to “non-target” animals.

How exactly do trappers in Yukon end the life of victims of the trapping industry after potentially being restrained for days by strangulation snares or leghold traps? If their lives are not ended by gunshot, then how? Are they not clubbed to death?

Do trappers step/stomp on the victim’s neck or head? How, then? Inquiring minds want to know.

Or, are you deliberately trying to mislead the public that trapping wild animals in Yukon is not cruel and inhumane by nature?

Perhaps you could have real Yukon trappers permit full video footage on their traplines – and the public can decide for themselves exactly what the trapping industry is built on.

Mike Grieco



‘Our hero’








From February 16, 2007 Yukon News: “Mackey’s dog team is in the dark” by Genesee Keevil

Lance Mackey likes to keep his dog team guessing. There’s no routine, said the reigning champ. The dogs never know how long they’re going to be running for, or when they’re going to eat.

“They don’t know what’s coming,” he said with a grin. “But I can give them anything it takes and they will take it.

“And I do this in training as well – I go with the flow.” Lance Mackey’s dog ‘Wolf’ regurgitates food, then chokes to death on it in 2004 Iditarod race

IMG_148‘Man wants answers behind skull inserted in his mailbox’ Whitehorse Daily Star – February 6, 2007

Story by Star Reporter Chuck Tobin

A local anti-trapping lobbyist who found a bleached wolf skull in his mail box is still waiting for an explanation from whoever delivered the insult.

“He has to explain himself,” Mike Grieco insisted in an interview last week. “I know it was not a gift.”

“What was his real intention? Was it some sort of threat?”

Grieco filed a complaint with the RCMP after finding the skull in his mailbox.

The skull was left in the mailbox at Grieco’s Whitehorse home in mid-January. It was accompanied by a permit issued under the Wildlife Act authorizing trapper Frank Johnstone of Teslin to give away one bleached wolf skull as a gift.

Johnstone is declining comment on the wolf skull, though he and Grieco have exchanged heated opinions recently in letters published in the Star’s opinion pages.

Grieco is staunchly opposed to trapping as cruel and inhumane, and entirely unnecessary in modern times.

Johnstone staunchly defends trapping as a legitimate and humanely acceptable means of managing and utilizing furbearers, a renewable resource.

Grieco said the skull was more of an insult to the wolf than it was to him, and he’s not sure what to do with it now.

“I do not want to exploit it,” he said.

“Most of these animals were killed without sensitivity and I do not think they should be used for pen holders or something.”

And now for a poem!

The following poem was published in a regular opinion column (‘Ramblings’) in the Yukon News on October 17, 2007 by Mr. Doug Bell (using the pen name ‘ Hugh Conner’ – Yukoner), retired publisher of the Yukon News in Whitehorse. Mr. Bell was apparently offended by the few vocal animal rights people who speak up on behalf of Yukon animals.

Yukoners need to hunt, trap, and mush dogs or they are not very happy campers. It should be noted that Mr. Bell, when he was a newspaper publisher, apparently never had any of his reporters do their due diligence in investigating animal cruelty affecting sled dogs, in particular the Yukon Quest dogs who have suffered and died in the 25 years the disgraceful race has been staged. Is it any wonder why some of us are somewhat embarrassed to live in the Yukon? Thanks for the poem, Hugh!

‘The New Law of the Yukon’

This is the New Law of the Yukon

And Cheechako’s have made it plain

Send me your foolish and feeble

Send me your weak and insane


Weak are the pampered and serviced

Insane for the need to reform

The pioneer people who built me

Force them to comply with the norm


Swift as a panther in triumph

The newcomers pounce on their prey!

Helpless the pioneers cower

To their misguided and bullying way


No smoking, no mushing, no fishing!

No driving, no fun and no say

About what is acceptable action

Or lifestyle or freedom today


No respect for those who have suffered

To build them this home in the North

My doors have been opened to people

Proclaiming my laws have no worth!


These newcomers claim we are evil

Mindless and cruel and mean

For protecting our claim as a people

Not ruled by the Southern regime


No eating of meat, no forestry

No seeking of Klondike Gold,

The thought police are coming

For us to force us to do as we’re told!


My heart is broken to pieces

As the newcomers squabble and fight

They pave over my golden hist’ry

With social correctness and spite


My Sourdoughs’ struggles have ended

As they are now harried and gray

Too tired to battle these morons

Who feel that they know the right way


It is said that we won’t go to meetings

But we are busy attending our works

‘Cause what is the point of opinion

When your home is invaded by jerks?

‘Hugh Conner’ (with apologies to Robert Service)