The first bill expected to pass quickly when the Legislature opens in March would force dog tracks to report greyhound injuries within seven days.
Lobbyist Jack Cory with the Florida Greyhound Association, representing breeders, owners and kennel operators, thinks Senate Bill 2 is great in theory. But he says "unfortunately, [it] does not have any greyhound protection in it other than in its title, [Victoria Q. Gaetz Racing Greyhound Protection Act].”
Cory prefers a different bill known as the Greyhound Safety Act. He says it would prevent many felons from getting licenses to run dog tracks. It also requires certain safety upgrades, like covering the exposed electrical wiring Cory says recently killed a greyhound at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.
"It would reduce the injuries by over 50 percent immediately," Cory says. "It would address all of those points and actually protect the animals today.”
But executive director Carey Theil of the Boston-based non-profit Grey2K USA, promoting greyhound protection, says the Geyhound Safety Act Cory is backing is not the way to go. Theil's organization supports Senate Bill 2 and greyhound injury reporting in general.
"Florida is only one of two states where [injury] information is not reported to the public," Theil says. "We've seen other state legislatures pass injury reporting requirements and in every case, we've seen a reduction of the number of racing greyhounds that are killed in the state."
Dog tracks in Florida are required to report the deaths of greyhounds on the racetrack or in the kennels.