Target: Will Weatherford, Florida House Speaker
Goal: Denounce legislators’ decision to continue supporting greyhound racing
Florida legislators recently rejected a bill that would help end the cruel business of greyhound racing in their state. The bill would have increased transparency at racetracks and legally separated greyhound racing from other forms of gambling. Express your disappointment in their decision to continue to support greyhound racing.
Current state law in Florida requires businesses with gambling licenses to operate greyhound tracks if they want to offer any type of gambling. This illogical law forces unrelated forms of gambling to be offered together, causing the majority of these facilities to lose millions of dollars every year, and ultimately increases the number of tracks that would not have been created otherwise. In May of 2014, Florida legislators failed to approve a bill that would have removed this requirement and legally separated greyhound racing from other forms of gambling, a process called decoupling.
In addition, Florida is one of only two states that does not require greyhound injury reporting. The rejected bill would have required dog tracks to turn over injury records, which they already keep, to the Department of Professional and Business Regulation. Increasing transparency at tracks would help the public to realize the extent of the injuries and deaths that are an everyday occurrence in greyhound racing.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a racing greyhound dies in Florida every three days, and common causes of death include being electrocuted by tripping and falling in uncovered electric inner circles of tracks, being euthanized due to a treatable leg fracture, and dying of heatstroke. Further, these dogs are kept in cages their entire lives and pushed to the point of exhaustion on a daily basis only to be heartlessly discarded once they can no longer race. Denounce Florida legislators for failing racing dogs in their state by continuing to support greyhound racing.
Dear Mr. Weatherford,
I strongly oppose the decision of the Florida House of Representatives to reject a bill that would have helped end the cruel business of greyhound racing in your state. The bill involved decoupling greyhound racing from other forms of gambling and would have also increased transparency at racing tracks. I believe that the House’s decision to reject the bill was a show of support for greyhound racing despite its inhumane nature.
More than 40 states have recognized the cruelty of greyhound racing and outlawed it, and Florida is only one of two states that does not require greyhound injury reporting. This bill was Florida’s chance to follow in the compassionate footsteps of the rest of the country by helping to end greyhound racing, but the House failed to act, despite the fact that the Florida Senate passed the bill unanimously.
One greyhound dies in your state every three days due to racing. Racing dogs are confined in cages their entire lives, pushed to the point of exhaustion regularly, and are discarded when they can no longer make a profit. Common causes of death include accidental electrocution on tracks, heatstroke, and being euthanized due to treatable injuries like leg fractures. I am extremely disappointed in the House’s decision to continue supporting this monstrosity by rejecting the bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pierre Roudier via Flickr