A coalition of 16 animal protection organizations, led by GREY2K USA, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States, sent a letter to the Florida House and Senate Gaming Committees calling for passage of two greyhound protection measures. The letter calls on lawmakers to eliminate a state mandate that requires gaming facilities to hold live dog races. In addition, the letter urges the Senate Gaming Committee and House Select Committee on Gaming to pass a greyhound injury reporting law.
“Unless the legislature acts, thousands of dogs will continue to endure lives of confinement at Florida tracks, and suffer serious injuries, for an activity that generates little interest,” the letter states. “Florida has a proud history when it comes to the humane treatment of animals. Passing these two greyhound protection measures will continue that tradition.”
The letter is signed by leaders of the Florida animal protection community, including representatives of the Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations, Florida Animal Control Association, SPCA Tampa Bay, Jacksonville Humane Society, Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County, Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control, First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Alaqua Animal Refuge and Cat Depot. It is also signed by leading greyhound adoption groups including Greyhound Adoptions of Florida, Greyhound Rescue & Adoptions of Tampa Bay, Retired Greyhounds as Pets and the National Greyhound Adoption Program.
“The state mandate for live dog racing has become a subsidy for out-of-state greyhound breeders, and it’s time for a change,” said Carey Theil, executive director for GREY2K USA Worldwide.
“This forced union of two unrelated forms of gambling makes no sense and inflicts unnecessary cruelty on greyhounds, who spend their racing lives confined, suffering terrible injuries, and may be killed once they are no longer profitable” said Ann Church, vice president of state affairs for the ASPCA. “Instead of forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of regulating race tracks that businesses don’t want, Florida should ’decouple‘ greyhound racing from other forms of gambling.”
Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “The state of Florida shouldn’t force gambling operations to hold live dog racing. It’s a dying industry, and this important legislation will move the humane economy forward.”
Beginning this week, the House and Senate Gaming Committees will hold a series of workshops across the state. The Committees will likely consider legislation next year that addresses Florida’s gambling industry.
For more information on the inherent cruelty of greyhound racing, please visit www.Grey2kUSA.org.