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Greyhound industry responds to dog death record, blames track owners

The Florida Greyhound Association and its affiliate, the National Greyhound Association, are defending the treatment of the racing dogs in response to an article in the Sunday Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times that reported that 74 dogs have died on race track property since the state started keeping records in May. 

For the first time in the 80 years dogs have been raced for profit in Florida, the state began requiring that track operators notify the state within 18 hours of a greyhound’s death at a track or racing kennel in Florida. The law was approved by lawmakers in 2010 only after some track owners had concluded that they wanted to reduce the amount of racing because it was no longer profitable. The rule didn’t take effect until May 31.

Jack Cory, lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association, acknowledged in a press release that there have been racing-related deaths but blamed track owners for the track conditions as the cause.

Cory also sent an email to greyhound breeders that called the Herald/Times report "hysterical" and noted that since the article appeared "Tracks have been inundated by TV Cameras."

"1 early death of a Greyhound is to many, BUT unfortunately accidents and illness happen with death resulting everywhere in Day Care Centers,'' Cory wrote. "Nursing Homes, Hospitals even at DCF where 432 Children died from Abuse and Neglect in 2012. I am not comparing a Greyhound to a Child but accidents and illness do happen with death resulting! They are unfortunate and many could be stopped with our 3 point safety plan!"

Below is the text of the press release issued today:

The Facts about the recent Florida Greyhound Reporting Issue 2/2014

*        The Division of Parimutuel Wagering (PMW) does NOT have a Report!
Instead they have 212 pages of emails and faxes, many of them confusing.

*        Not one case was opened for animal abuse or neglect. Not one!

*        The Florida Greyhound Association and the National Greyhound Association have a zero tolerance  for any animal abuse and neglect.

*        There were over 8,000 racing Greyhounds in Florida during 2013 unfortunately 70 of them died,  but that was less than 1%.

This is very sad but should not be exploited by out of state radical "Animal Rights" groups, for political or fund raising purposes,  that condoned the killing of 250,000 Shelter Pets in Florida last year.

*        Over 50% of most Shelter Pets are killed in Florida each year
That is over 250,000! The ASPCA gives support to those high kill Shelters!

*        Over 90% of all Racing Greyhounds in Florida are adopted or returned to the farm to live out their lives.

That is the standard used by the No Kill Movement !

*        If Live Greyhound Racing were reduced or eliminated these 8,000 beautiful Greyhounds and thousands of Florida jobs would be put at risk.

After analyzing the 212 pages of the PMW documents obtained through a Public Records request we have found that of the 70 Greyhounds that died in Florida in 2013:

*        Over 50 % died because of the Track Related circumstances and Track Managements Failures!
37 Greyhounds died because of Track Related circumstances and the Track Management's failure to maintain their Compound properly

*        The Florida Greyhound Association has put forth a 3 point "Greyhound Safety Plan" that could have prevented many of these unfortunate deaths.

1.   Require all Tracks to  maintain proper Track surface.

2.   Require all Tracks to install lure safety device.

3.   Require all Tracks to insulate 240 volt bus bar.

*        33 Greyhounds  died in non-track related incidents and some from Natural Causes:
14 dogs died from natural causes or illness, including cardiac arrest, cancer, aneurysm, etc. 20% by Natural Causes 1 dog was involved in an accident.

18 greyhounds died from unknown causes, necropsy reports are still pending for some cases. Over 20% the State does not why they died.

*        NONE died from animal abuse or neglect! NONE!

The Florida Greyhound Association and the National Greyhound Association have a very strong safety and inspection program on the farms. We encourage the State Legislature to support the "Greyhound Safety Plan" NOW!