Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) Mushers could face automatic elimination if one dog on the team dies during the race.
The Iditarod Trail Committee debated the measure at length Friday before making the change. Mushers will be kicked out of the race if their dogs die while on the trail.
The rule previously allowed this decision to be left up to the race marshal and marshal's judges. The board also decided to change the number of dogs per team. Previously the limit had been 16. That was lowered to 14 at the starting line.
If a dog dies as the result of unforeseeable forces, a musher may be allowed to stay in the race
Four dogs died during the 2017 race. In 2016 a dog was killed after being run over by a snowmobile operated by an alleged drunk driver. Six dogs died during the 2009 race. One dog died of pneumonia in the 2018 race.