ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The new head of Alaska's Iditarod plans to meet with an animal rights group long devoted to putting an end to the world's most famous sled dog race.

Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach says race organizers have for decades ignored or taken a defensive stance against People for the Ethical of Animals. He says that obviously hasn't worked, and he has started engaging in a dialogue with the group about dog care.

Urbach says he'll meet with PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman Thursday at her organization's Los Angeles office.

Reiman says she plans to talk at the meeting about the differences between "the needs and behavior of dogs and those of humans."

Urbach says he hopes to find common ground through education about the race and treatment of the dogs.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.