Although this new Florida rule is not perfect, it does contain several important greyhound protections. For example:
- For the first time, greyhound trainers will be required to notify state regulators every time a dog dies on the grounds of a racetrack or greyhound kennel. This notification must be in writing, and must occur within 18 hours of the dog's death. This is an important provision that will increase transparency in the dog race industry.
- It will now be a requirement that all greyhound haulers be licensed.
- Greyhound trainers will now be required to maintain a "roster" which identifies each dog in their kennel. This roster must include the dog's name and tattoo number, the owner's name, the trainer's name, the dog's date of arrival and departure, and the name and license number of the person transporting the dog.
- Greyhound trainers will now be prohibited from keeping more than one dog in a racetrack cage.
- Racetrack officials will now be required to "complete a weekly documented walk-through" of occupied greyhound kennels. It's possible that this regulation would have prevented the sad death of dozens of greyhounds three years ago at Ebro Greyhound Park.
We are very grateful to the Division and its Director, Leon Biegalski, for demonstrating leadership in adopting this new rule. Thanks to their work, these protections will improve the lives of thousands of greyhounds.
Finally, it's important to remember that every law is only as good as its enforcement, so it will now be incumbent on Florida regulators to ensure that these new greyhound requirements are adhered to. We must also remember that even with this historic victory, our job is far from complete. As humane advocates, we must continue working until the cruelty of dog racing ends completely. You can bet that at GREY2K USA, we will do exactly that.