Good News! Florida Greyhound Racing Ban Jumps Major Hurdle
Florida Senator Tom Lee introduced Proposal 67, which would ban the gambling of any kind on greyhound (or other dog) races.
The proposal allows for a phase-out period, which would gradually reduce the amount of dog race gambling between the year the bill is passed to July 1st, 2021, marking full implementation of the official ban.
Proposal 67 was unanimously passed today by the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), securing a vital spot for it on the 2018 election ballot and allowing Florida residents to vote on the proposal.
The CRC is made up of 37 commissioners who convene once every 20 years to review the Florida Constitution and propose changes for voter consideration.
Not only is this a major win for Greyhounds due to the proposal's once in every twenty years chance, but also due to the amount of abuse racing dogs endure in this brutal industry.
Florida has a history of not publicly reporting greyhound racing injuries, however, between 2008 and 2015, 11,722 greyhound injuries were reported nationwide, and it has been approximated that 1 Florida racing Greyhound dies every 3 days.(1)
Greyhounds used for racing also suffer a life of confinement within small cages, as well as forced drug use. In June of this year, 12 greyhounds tested positive for cocaine at Bestbet race track in Orange Park, which at that time, added up to 18 cases of cocaine found in racing dogs within a four-month period at the Bestbet race track alone.(2)(3)
The argument that ending gambling would have a major negative economic impact is not justifiable. "Between June 2012 and November 2013, Florida dog tracks lost $42 million on racing", with gambling on dog races declining by 66% between 2001 and 2012.(1) The proposal's phase-out period also allows for the transition to alternatives that do not involve live dog racing.
This is also a win for Florida residents as several other crimes, such as those related to drugs and crimes of violence have been proven to be tied to dog racing. Today's vote provides Floridian's the opportunity to take a stand and make their voices heard against this dark industry; protecting themselves and the animals of their state.
(1) High Stakes: Greyhound Racing in the US, 2015, Grey2K USA (2) http://wapo.st/2AnfMwG (3) http://fcnews.tv/2iv7j66