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The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that proposed Amendment 13 to the Florida Constitution can appear on the ballot on November 6, 2018. This amendment seeks to ban Greyhound racing in the state effective December 31, 2020. Please scroll down to view the text of the proposed amendment.

The American Kennel Club’s canine legislation position statement on the “Use of Dogs in Sporting, Working, and Competition Activities” states the AKC encourages and strongly supports the interaction and mutual enjoyment of owners and dogs in sporting activities such as hunting and field trials; in working circumstances such as herding, tracking, and pulling; and in competition events such as dog shows, obedience trials, agility trials, and other performance events and tests. The AKC believes that dogs should be properly cared for, humanely trained, and not pushed beyond reasonable limits for which they were bred.

 Accordingly, the American Kennel Club does not support proposed Florida Amendment 13.

Dog racing and rescue insiders dispute claims of improper care

The issue is contentious. Certain supporters of the ban claim that racing Greyhounds are kept in improper conditions. Greyhound racing advocates disagree. Industry insiders and numerous adoption groups point to ongoing efforts among members of the Greyhound racing community to clarify and improve Florida’s rules and racing Greyhound care.

Note: Current Florida law provides for criminal prosecution of all persons—including participants in Greyhound racing—who keep dogs in abusive or neglectful conditions. Consequently, racing Greyhounds are subject to multiple levels of legislative and regulatory protections.

Numerous Greyhound enthusiast and animal welfare groups oppose the ban

Among many organizations that oppose Florida Amendment 13 are:

Florida Association of Kennel Clubs

National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA)

American Greyhound Council

Florida Greyhound Racing Association

More than 60 Greyhound Adoption Groups, according to “Florida Politics”

More than 81 Greyhound Adoption Groups, according to “Greyhound Adopters for Racing”

Text of the proposed amendment

BALLOT TITLE: Ends Dog Racing

BALLOT SUMMARY: Phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.

ARTICLE X MISCELLANEOUS

Prohibition on racing of and wagering on greyhounds or other dogs. The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. After December 31, 2020, a person authorized to conduct gaming or pari-mutuel operations may not race greyhounds or any member of the Canis Familiaris subspecies in connection with any wager for money or any other thing of value in this state, and persons in this state may not wager money or any other thing of value on the outcome of a live dog race occurring in this state. The failure to conduct greyhound racing or wagering on greyhound racing after December 31, 2018, does not constitute grounds to revoke or deny renewal of other related gaming licenses held by a person who is a licensed greyhound permitholder on January 1, 2018, and does not affect the eligibility of such permitholder, or such permitholder’s facility, to conduct other pari-mutuel activities authorized by general law. By general law, the legislature shall specify civil or criminal penalties for violations of this section and for activities that aid or abet violations of this section.

ARTICLE XII SCHEDULE

Prohibition on racing of or wagering on greyhounds or other dogs. The amendment to Article X, which prohibits the racing of or wagering on greyhound and other dogs, and the creation of this section, shall take effect upon the approval of the electors.

 

Please contact AKC Government Relations at 919-816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org with questions about this informational alert.

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