AT TRACK GREYHOUND DEATHS INCREASE YEAR TO YEAR DESPITE NEW REPORTING LAW
— 6% Death Increase Exposes Need for Additional Racing Greyhound Reform —
TALLAHASSEE, FL (February 9, 2015) — Despite promises that a new law requiring the reporting of greyhound deaths at Florida racetracks would lead to a reduction in fatalities, the number actually increased from 2013 to 2014, according to the most recent data.
From May to December 2014, the number of greyhounds that died at track facilities increased to 74 from 70 during the same period in 2013. That’s a six percent increase. Tracks are required to report all deaths to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
“While reporting deaths was an important first step, it’s clear the intent of the law has fallen short,” said Jack Cory, Florida Greyhound Association’s head of government affairs. “It’s vital that more must be done to protect the health and well-being of racing greyhounds in Florida.”
The Florida Greyhound Association, which represents racing greyhound owners, supports a bill filed in the Florida Legislature that would strengthen reporting requirements. The Greyhound Safety Act, sponsored by Senator Chris Smith and Representative Kevin Rader, would specifically:
Require track owners to maintain a safe racing surface
Insulate all exposed electrical wires on the track to protect the racing dogs
Install safety devices to remove the lure from the racing surface
All injuries, not just deaths, incurred by racing greyhounds must be reported, under oath, to the state.
Force the state to deny or revoke a greyhound racing license or permit for anyone convicted of animal cruelty, abuse of children or prior felony conviction for aggravated assault or battery.
“This Greyhound safety plan will prevent injuries and deaths from occurring at the tracks by drastically improving safety conditions for the dogs. Unfortunately other competing legislation only report injuries after the fact. It’s time we protect the more than 8000 racing greyhounds in Florida, 3000 Florida families jobs, and modernize this form of entertainment that dates back to more than a century in the state,” added Cory.
For more information about the Florida Greyhound Association, visit our website at http://www.floridagreyhoundassociation.com.
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