Time to End Florida’s Mandate Requiring Greyhound Racing

By on February 17, 2016 with 6 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

At a time when nearly 40 states ban greyhound racing, largely for humane reasons, it seems upside down that any state would actually mandate the practice. Yet that’s exactly what Florida does.

Florida’s live-racing mandate requires racetracks to conduct a certain number of greyhound races if they want to continue to conduct casino-style gambling. But in fact, gamblers cluster inside buildings, playing card games and slot machines, while the grandstands that overlook a racing oval are almost empty of spectators as a pack of greyhounds hurtle around the track.

For years, many legislators have tried to align Florida with the rest of the nation, or at least to “decouple” greyhound races and casino-style racing. When the free market operates in place of state-mandated racing, most of the dog racing will dissipate, largely because so few people are interested in it. It’s not the state’s role to prop up this animal-based industry when so few people are willing to pay for it. Even many greyhound track owners are lobbying for a “decoupling” bill, largely because they lose millions on the dog races.

The dogs, of course, lose more than that. We know that, on average, a greyhound dies on a Florida track every three days. Florida is one of only six states where greyhound racing still exists and it has 12 out of the 19 tracks in the country. Wagering on dog racing has dropped for 20 years in a row.

The era of greyhound racing has passed, and it’s time lawmakers, greyhound breeders, and others in the industry accept that reality. It is foolish to keep alive an industry that is not only betting on the lives of innocent animals, but one that is actually costing Florida more dollars than it makes. If you live in the state, urge your lawmakers to pass this bill that would help end the suffering of dogs for a “sport” that no one is even watching.

Save greyhounds in Florida »

Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Deedee Dillingham says:

    A lot of dog advocates, for some reason, do not seem to care about greyhounds. I do not get why there hasn’t been a revolution on the streets of FL fighting on behalf of these dogs who are forced to race and abused.

    Having had greyhounds since December 1999, I really want this archaic, ignorant, ridiculous “coupling” law to be changed. It it way past the time to decouple racing and gambling.

  2. Barbara Scholl says:

    In order for our humanity to grow up we need to treat all parts of our planet with respect, the earth, the plants, the animals…etc. Please stop greyhound racing.

  3. Lisbeth Mønsted Larsen says:

    Greyhound racing should be banned world wide not just in Florida it is time this archaic and bloodstained “sport” was confined to the pages of our history books. It is time to move forward and crack down on animal cruelty no matter where it rears its ugly head. How can we be considered humane when cruelty such as greyhound racing still exists how can we call ourselves humane when dogs are suffering in the streets along with homeless people how can we be said to be humane when dogfighting and breeding of pitbulls is not banned? I think it is high time we do something to stop the inhumane treatment dogs go through and actually become dogs best friend as they so lovingly are called mans best friend. For the love of greyhounds stop the racing industry in its tracks say yes to the decoupling bills.

  4. SUE says:

    When I clicked on “save the greyhound” link, could not act I guess because I don’t live in FL. Those who are able to…PLEASE ACT TO PROTECT THESE BEAUTIFUL DEFENSELESS ANIMALS and STOP THE RACES IN FL & IN ALL STATES!

  5. karyn zoldan says:

    I hope it happens in Florida. Paws crossed here. Now what about South Tucson Arizona? Too many dogs are breaking their legs, suffering from rare blood disorders and being electrocuted. And “regulation” is none.

  6. Cecily Morris says:

    Thank goodness !
    This is a deplorable, inhumane case of animal abuse.
    Animal abuse should be against the law & subject to the
    punishment as human abuse.

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