Victory for Greyhounds!

Victory for Greyhounds!
Victory for Greyhounds!
Florida votes to end Greyhound racing in a major win for opponents of this cruel sport

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Commercial Greyhound racing will be banned in Florida by 2020. This past November, Florida residents overwhelmingly voted to end Greyhound racing in their state. The initiative to phase out the so-called sport by 2020 passed easily with 69 percent of voters in favour.

 

 

While greyhound racing still exists in a few other states, this win was a definite blow to the industry—of the nation’s 17 remaining Greyhound racing tracks, Florida is home to 11, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Despite the number of dog race facilities, few Florida residents supported it. Over the last 30 years, state tax revenue from dog racing dropped by a whopping 98 percent. The reason that racing continues to exist in the state despite a lack of support from Floridians is due to an ill-conceived state dog-racing mandate that forced gambling facilities to hold dog races in order to offer more profitable forms of betting, like poker. In 2016, Florida dog tracks lost a combined $34.8 million on racing. According to a study commissioned by the legislature, the state is losing between $1 million and $3.3 million annually because regulatory costs exceed revenues, explains Animal Legal Defense Fund’s executive director, Stephen Wells.

 

 

The passing of Amendment 13 overturns that law, prohibiting racing along with betting on live dog races in Florida.

The Yes on 13 campaign was led by Greyhound protection group GREY2K USA Worldwide, which has been working toward this outcome for 18 years and raised more than one million dollars to make it happen, says the organization’s president Christine Dorchak. “Amendment 13 represents the biggest victory for Greyhound advocacy and adoption anywhere at any time in history," notes Christine, who wrote the ballot language. With the end of dog racing in America's biggest racing state, her group will now intensify its focus on the five remaining states and six other countries where Greyhound racing yet persists.

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