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It’s a good bet dog racing may end in Florida

State records reveal that 483 greyhounds have died on the track or in kennel properties since 2013. Causes included broken necks, heart attacks or electrocution from the high-voltage lures that lead the dogs around the tracks.

GABRIEL POGRUND: The greyhound race has followed the same pattern for almost a century. With a metallic screech the lure sets off, and eight dogs burst onto the track in chase. A half-minute later, the explosion of speed leaves a trail of sand, cigarette butts and torn betting slips in its wake, to be repeated across a hot afternoon. But soon, it may be extinct. Florida, which hosts a dozen of the nation’s 17 surviving tracks, is set to vote in November whether to ban greyhound racing. Those in favor of a ban see racing as animal cruelty akin to cockfighting, contending that dogs are caged for most of the day and risk life-threatening injuries for the sake of gambling…

Groups including the Humane Society of the United States and celebrities such as Doris Day, a longtime animal rights activist, have raised $2.5 million to pass the ban. Greyhound racing supporters have raised a miserly $24,000 to defend it… The proposal has spawned not only emotional reactions but also a legal battle. A controversial state judge ordered the measure to be removed from the ballot because its language was unclear, saying it amounted to “outright trickeration”; ban supporters appealed the decision, prompting an automatic stay that put it back before voters. A hearing in the state’s Supreme Court has now been confirmed, but both sides anticipate it will be on the ballot…

State records reveal that 483 greyhounds have died on the track or in kennel properties since 2013, with most deaths directly relating to racing. Causes included broken necks, heart attacks or electrocution from the high-voltage lures that lead the dogs around the tracks… A ban — which requires at least 60 percent of the vote — would be all but fatal for dog racing in the United States, racing supporters say. Greyhound racing already is outlawed in 40 states because of animal welfare concerns; total betting has slumped from $3.5 billion in 1991 to $500 million today’. SOURCE…

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