Act to Prohibit Greyhound Racing and Simulcast of Greyhound Racing
Sec. 1. Purpose
To prohibit greyhound racing as well as the interstate simulcasting of greyhound racing. The greyhound racing industry exists solely as a form of amusement for the public. Racing greyhounds spend most of their adult lives in crates or pens, causing the dogs harm both physically and psychologically. Limited human interaction, confinement, and pressure to run leave greyhounds unable to behave naturally. The greyhound racing industry has long ignored abusive practices such as surplus breeding, cruel methods of destroying unwanted dogs and substandard living conditions. In addition, live bait animals are often killed during training exercises.
Sec. 2. Definitions
(a) “Person”: an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity.
(b) “Simulcast”: live transmission into this state of video or audio signals conveying a greyhound race held outside this state.
Sec. 3. Regulation
(a) No person shall hold, conduct or operate greyhound racing for public exhibition in this State for monetary remuneration.
(b) No person shall transmit or receive interstate simulcasting of greyhound racing for commercial purposes in this State.
Sec. 4. Penalties
(a) Violation of this act is a misdemeanor.
(b) Any person who violates this act may be punished by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $7,500, or both.
Greyhound racing attendance is declining nationwide. Nine states have bans on live greyhound racing: Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. However, tracks still exist legally in almost every part of the country. There are currently fifteen states that operate greyhound racing tracks: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. While the greyhound racing industry claims that greyhound racing is a highly regulated sport with high standards of animal care, in reality most state regulations are concerned only with gambling rules. This leaves the breeding and training operations effectively unregulated, and the dogs at the mercy of whoever is running the operation.
20,000 greyhounds are killed each year as the dwindling greyhound racing industry struggles to stay in business. In 2002, the remains of 3,000 greyhounds from tracks in Florida were found on an ex-racetrack security guard’s property. The security guard had been eliminating unwanted greyhounds with a .22 rifle for more than forty years. As the attorney for the security guard made clear, “If there’s anybody to be indicted here, it’s the industry because this is what they’re doing to these animals. The misery begins the day they’re born. The misery ends when my client gets a hold of them and puts a bullet in their head.”
As more and more people have become aware of the plight of greyhounds, rescue groups have formed all over the country. These groups dedicate themselves to placing unwanted and retired greyhounds in loving homes. While greyhounds typically make wonderful companion animals, the racing greyhound’s background qualifies these dogs as “special needs.” This is because racing greyhounds have never been in a house, ridden in a car, or been exposed to children or other animals besides greyhounds.
The greyhound racing industry is inherently inhumane because a dog’s value is determined by the amount of money the dog generates, thus rendering the lesser racers expendable. In addition, abuse is pervasive throughout the greyhound racing industry. With a dog’s worth determined monetarily and with abuse at every level of the industry, the greyhound racing industry can never operate in a humane manner. The only hope for these dogs is the elimination of the industry altogether.
The Humane Society of the United States
Greyhound Protection League
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Greyhound Adoption Center