House Majority Leader Dana Young has written a bill that looks toward the “decoupling” of Greyhound racing from racetracks in Florida. Instead, it is proposed that slots and poker rooms still be available but phase out greyhound racing. This is not the first time that there has been an attempt at re-writing Florida’s gaming laws, however there is still some hope that this bill will pass.
Young spoke before a Tuesday vote and said, “On behalf of the thousands of racing greyhounds that are bred and live their lives to do nothing but run around a circle with no one watching, vote for this bill.”
Late Monday night Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Coral Springs Democrat, argued that in his visits to several racing sites there were only a dozen spectators in the stands built for 5,000. He believes that this bill will be a humane way to end an activity that is way past its prime.
“The free market has spoken, and the free market has said ‘Dog racing is coming to an end’,” said Moskowitz.
On Tuesday the House Finance & Tax Committee voted 10-8 in favor of the bill. The next step is for the bill to go to the full House. Animal activists will be watching this carefully.
Florida is one the few states that where Greyhound racing is still legal. Not only are the dogs kept in horrible conditions, there have been 202 dog deaths since may 2013 and 19 dogs have tested positive for cocaine since 2008. State records show that a dog dies every three days.