Adopt Safety Plan to Save Greyhounds By Jeff Kottkamp
July 30, 2014
Over the past two years there has been a concerted effort to expand gambling at greyhound race tracks in Florida. This effort has beenpromoted with a misinformation campaign that would make any Minister of Propaganda proud.
Rather than openly push for the expansion of gambling many of those behind this effort have pushed for the elimination of live Greyhound racing at greyhound race tracks in the name of “dog safety”. The real goal is to operate the tracks as mini-casinos with slot machines despite the fact that the tracks were only approved for operation as Greyhound racing facilities.
The expansion of gambling effort has also enlisted the help of several national “animal protection” organizations. In reality, these organizations are primarily fundraising tools that do little to help animals or stop the high kill rate in Florida’s animal shelters. By contrast, thanks to the efforts of the owners of racing Greyhounds over 90% of all racing greyhounds are adopted to loving families or returned to the farm to live out their lives.
According to informationprovided to the state by greyhound race tracks the number of racing greyhounds that died from abuse or neglect last year—zero. Why? Because the owners of theover 8,000 racing greyhounds in Florida care about their greyhounds. As a group, Greyhound owners have a “zero tolerance” policy for anyone found guilty of harming a racing Greyhound.
The information provided to the state by tracks did reveal that 70 racing Greyhounds (or less than 1% of all racing Greyhounds in Florida) died last year. Over 50% of those Greyhounds died as the result of track related conditions or track management failures. Nearly all of the other deaths were caused by natural causes or non-racing related incidents. One animal dying prematurely is one too many.
Because most racing Greyhounds deaths are caused by track conditions the Greyhound owners have pushed for passage of a three point safety plan at race tracks to prevent these unfortunate deaths. The safety plan is very straight forward. First, it would require that all race tracks to maintain a proper track surface. Second, it would require tracks to install a lure safety device. Third, it would require all tracks to insulate their 240 volt middle rail.
It is time to separate the effort to expand gambling from legitimate efforts to protect racing greyhounds. For those truly interested in the safety of racing greyhounds—adoption of the safety plan should be a priority.
(Jeff Kottkamp is President of Jeff Kottkamp, P.A. He served as Florida’s 17th Lieutenant Governor)
Guest Opinion: Expansion of Gambling a Bad Bet for Florida
September 18, 2018
HOT OFF THE PRESSES!!! FLORIDA DECOUPLING FAILS AGAIN