Ending Greyhound Racing in Florida
Amendment 13 – public vote
As part of a coalition, the Animal Legal Defense Fund urges Florida voters to outlaw greyhound racing.
Legislation passed on November 6, 2018
The ban will go into effect at the end of 2020
On November 6, 2018, Floridians overwhelmingly voted in favor of Amendment 13 – ending the cruel greyhound industry in the state by 2021. Greyhounds previously forced to race will now be able to retire – no longer will they be confined to small wire cages or given dangerous drugs to enhance their performance.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is proud to have been part of the coalition of organizations supporting this historic grassroots campaign.
Additionally, Animal Legal Defense Fund attorneys submitted a legal brief in the ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit initiated by greyhound industry groups challenging the validity of Amendment 13.
As the racing industry in Florida winds down, many former racing greyhounds will need loving homes. If you’re considering adopting a dog – consider a greyhound! A strong network of rescue groups focused on greyhounds already exists because the racing industry breeds and discards hundreds of dogs annually. Amendment 13 will help stop this cruel cycle.
The ban on greyhound racing in Florida goes into effect at the end of 2020, meaning dogs will trickle into rescues over the next two years. Now rescue groups are working together to place dogs with families both in Florida and across the country. You don’t need to live in Florida to give one of these dogs the life they’ve always deserved.
GREY2K USA hosts an online directory of rescue groups dedicated to greyhounds. You can also volunteer, foster, or donate to a local greyhound rescue group in your area. Find a group near you here.
Note: The Animal Legal Defense Fund urges all adopters to carefully vet any rescue group first. The groups listed in the directory are suggestions, and this should not be construed as an endorsement of any specific group.
At the time of Amendment 13’s passage, Florida was home to 11 out of 17 operational greyhound racetracks in the United States. Greyhounds are at a disadvantage even before they are born.
Thousands are bred annually – many more than are needed to race – in an attempt to create the fastest dogs. These social dogs are forced to spend most of their time alone, confined in rows of double-stacked, warehouse-style metal cages that are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around in for 20-23 hours a day. Instead of blankets or bedding, dogs are only provided shredded paper or discarded carpet pieces.
Many racing dogs suffer injuries while racing and, according to state records, a racing greyhound dies on average every three days on a Florida track. Of these dogs, 94% were three years old or younger. Common injuries include broken legs, paralysis, head trauma, and broken backs. Dogs have also been electrocuted after touching the track’s high voltage lure. Some dogs actually die on the tracks, others are euthanized behind closed doors.
Additionally, greyhounds are routinely drugged, and female dogs are regularly injected with anabolic steroids in order to keep them racing. More than 400 racing greyhounds tested positive for cocaine, novocaine, oxycodone, and lidocaine in the last ten years.
Though greyhound racing persists in a handful of other states, the majority of racing occurs in Florida. The end of the Florida greyhound racing industry ensures that thousands of dogs will no longer be subjected to cruelty in the name of entertainment.
The sweeping Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 — an omnibus federal law passed approximately every five years, commonly known as the “farm bill” — included several important provisions, including some victories for animals.March 11, 2019 Animal Law Update
When Guam enacted a felony animal cruelty law in 2011, the U.S. territory moved up 18 places on the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Animal Protection Laws State Rankings, showing the second most improvement of U.S. states and territories that year.March 7, 2019 Animal Law Update
Klein v. Barbour County Commission
Volar Society v. Animal Kingdom
Support for HB 1476