Greyhound steroid ban dies in Senate


A bipartisan bill banning the use of steroids on greyhound racing dogs is likely dead for the 2017 Legislative Session.

The last committee of reference for the Senate bill (SB 512) had been Appropriations, which did not hear it Monday at its last meeting. The House version (HB 743) passed earlier this month on an 84-32 vote.

“We had the votes to pass it,” said Senate bill sponsor Dana Young, a Tampa Republican. The Senate bill cleared two previous committees on 8-2 and 9-2 margins. “Unfortunately, we were not able to get it on the last agenda.”

Senate Appropriations chair Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, was not immediately available for comment. He did not mention the bill during a post-meeting interview with reporters Monday.

“It’s very sad,” Young added. “I’ve been working on humane issues like this for seven years.”

The House sponsor, Orlando Democrat Carlos Guillermo Smith, did not immediately respond to a text message.

The measure had been vehemently opposed by racetrack and racing dog associations. There are 19 race-dog tracks remaining in the United States, 12 of them in Florida.

Smith had argued in committee that trainers use steroids on female greyhounds to keep them from going into heat and losing racing days. He called the use of steroids on dogs equivalent to “doping.”

“Anabolic steroids can have harmful long-term side effects, in addition to serving as a performance enhancer on female dogs,” Smith had said in a news release. “As long as greyhound racing continues in Florida, we have a moral obligation to ensure these dogs are treated as fairly and humanely as possible.”

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Patti K

    May 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Common sense prevails! This Bill was a waste of the FL government’s time and filled with an amazing amount of inaccurate information. Racing dogs in FL ARE treated humanely and contrary to what was reported, taking away this non-performance enhancing anabolic steroid would not only cost thousands of dollars to kennel operators, trainers and owners but would also cause potential harm to the dogs (both female AND male) and the people who lovingly care for them.

  • Let Sanity Prevail

    May 1, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    The use of steroids, or any drugs, on animals to enhance performance is barbaric. One step further, the use of animals for “sport racing” of any kind is barbaric. No, it doesn’t matter that there has been a history of doing it, that an industry has grown up around it, or that lawyers, lobbyists, or others earn all or part of their income through it. Barbaric is barbaric. Those people can certainly find an honest line of work. And no, I’m not a tree-hugger.

    • Roberta Brodeur

      May 1, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      You are so very misguided in your beliefs. Firstly, birth control pills are used widely in both canine and humans… prevent unwanted pregnancies. Their dosage is regulated and has nothing to do with anabolic steroid use to enhance performance. Secondly, you have no idea of the racing greyhounds life. Obviously have been ” informed ” by some group of people that purport to inform you of the industry, however, they themselves have an alternate agenda, thirdly, the folks who breed, raise, race, and adopt out retirees, are t he most loving, caring, and concerned people on the planet.
      You need to do some research on the info you have been given. Visit a farm or kennel and be educated!

  • LMF

    May 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I adopted a female greyhound after years of doping with steroids. She started to develop something similar to a penis with her clitorus. Very painful, lots of infections and totally unnecessary! If you had the votes several times it should have been fit in the session. Try to be more efficient and productive with legislature time mgmt!

    • Ron Miller

      May 7, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      A nice large clitorus is both attractive and pleasurable, as many female bodybuilders well know. You should try it some time! Liberation for women, that’s what I am preachin’.. stop hating on the racing greyhounds.

  • Robert G.

    May 1, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Maybe next time Carlos Guillermo Smith will take the time to do a little research before sponsoring a bill filled with lies and misleading propaganda. Rookie mistake, or a brazen attempt to slam in a poorly written bill. Probably a little bit of both.

  • Colin

    May 1, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Fantastic news common sense prevails over Ignorance and Lies.
    Perhaps we should ban female contraceptive aswell? ? Bloody Stupid Anti’s , GO THE GREY DOGS WORLD WIDE.

  • Elaine Summerhill

    May 1, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    The use of steroids to suppress estrus is a long time veterinary practice. It does not enhance performance, as some non-veterinary people claim. It does not cause females to grow a penises or any other male parts. It is not a barbaric practice. It has been a standard medical practice for 40+ years & is practiced by those in the dog show community, sled dog community, and any other community which deals with performance animals.

  • Deborah Elliott

    May 2, 2017 at 6:11 am

    Great news!

    We humanely keep our racing girls from having their periods and unwanted pregnancies by giving them birth control pills. As a nurse, I promise that many thousands of Florida women use the steroids in birth control for exactly the same reasons. The birth control steroids we use for the greyhounds are safer for them than the human ones.

    In my more than 35 years of experience working with greyhounds, I’ve never once had a single case of any problems from using this very low dose of steroids for birth control. My mom dogs were once racers on birth control pills, and all have had beautiful healthy puppies.

    • Melanie Donovan

      May 2, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Exactly & well said. Thank you.!

Comments are closed.


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