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Greyhound owners and breeders file lawsuit to remove Amendment 13 from ballot

GreyhoundsThe predicted lawsuits aimed at throwing out some of the more controversial amendments put on the November ballot by the Florida Constitution Revision Committee
has begun.

The Florida Greyhound Association, which represents dog owners and breeders, filed a complaint against the state Thursday in Leon County Circuit Court, arguing that Amendment 13 which ends the requirement that greyhound tracks race dogs to keep their gambling license is misleading.  Download FGA v Secretary of State Complaint

“The ballot title and summary do not inform voters that passage of Amendment 13 could subject taxpayers to significant financial liability as a result of the taking and/or loss of property of greyhound owners and greyhound tracks (as was the case when the pregnant pig amendment was passed),” said the group's legal counsel Paul Hawkes, a former First District Court of Appeals judge. 

The CRC put the amendment on the ballot with the title "Ends Dog Racing" and with the summary "Phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected."

The industry argues that the title is misleading because dog racing could continue, just no dog racing with wagering.  Download FGA v State Key Points

Kate MacFall, cp-chair of the Protect Dogs - Yes on 13 Campaign, called the lawsuit "dead on arrival"  and predicted it will be dismissed by the court.

"It is a desperate attempt to prevent voters from having a voice on whether greyhound confinement and deaths should continue,'' she said in a statement. "Asking voters to approve a question entitled 'Ends Greyhound Racing' says what it does and does what it says."
 
MacFall noted that the text of Amendment 13 reads, 'The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of Florida.' If the members of the Florida Greyhound Association disagree with this premise, they are free to vote no in November."

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