Greyhound steroids ban moves in Senate

greyhound

A bill to ban all uses of steroids in racing dogs has cleared a key Senate panel.

The Regulated Industries Committee, which generally gets first crack at gambling-related bills, OK’d the measure (SB 674) 7-2 on Wednesday.

State regulations now allow use only of a “low-dose, non-performance enhancing” form of testosterone in greyhounds, and only as birth control, according to Florida Greyhound Association (FGA) lawyer-lobbyist Jeff Kottkamp, a former Florida lieutenant governor.

Bill sponsor Dana Young, a Tampa Republican, took a jab at the association in her closing remarks. In Florida, live dog racing is still conducted at 12 tracks. Young calls steroid use in dogs “doping.”

“I find it interesting that the (association) seems to think that they have any credibility on drug issues when they had an incident in Jacksonville where 12 racing greyhounds were … found with cocaine in their bloodstream,” she said, after no senator opted to debate the measure.

That incident resulted in a challenge in which an administrative law judge struck down the state’s greyhound drug testing program, leading to regulators having to enact an temporary rule to continue testing.

Jack Cory, spokesman and lobbyist for the association, countered after the meeting that the Association of Racing Commissioners International, or ARCI, as recently as last month approved of orally-taken anabolic steroids for birth control. (Owners usually don’t neuter racing dogs so they can continue breeding them.)

Moreover, Kottkamp has said the association—which advocates for the state’s race-dog owners and breeders—has “a zero tolerance policy for anyone that would give a racing greyhound any illegal substance.”

But Rep. Carlos G. Smith, an Orlando Democrat carrying the House version of the bill (HB 463), soon tweeted that “FGA has ZERO credibility. Their new motto should be, ‘LET THEM HAVE COCAINE’!”

The Senate bill next heads to the Agriculture Committee.

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]


2 comments

  • Fred Barton

    January 17, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Thank you for all your hard work Senators Young and Smith. Ireland, Australia and New Zealand outlaw the use of steroids on greyhounds. It’s time greyhound racing in America caught up with the rest of the world and Florida is a great place to start.

    I am a Board member of GREY2K USA Worldwide, an organization that fights to save these marvelous creatures all over the globe. (you can learn more about us here: http://www.grey2kusa.org.) I have fostered and adopted rescued racing greyhounds since 1995. I cannot imagine abandoning any of them when they become injured, old or sick and yet this is routinely what happens to them at operating tracks and will continue to happen as long as racing is allowed to exist.
    Fred Barton
    Board Member
    GREY2K USA Worldwide

  • John Gamble

    January 31, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Why are they even allowed to be given low doses of testosterone for birth control? Who decides what a low dose is and how it is not dangerous to the dog, can someone explain? Animal shouldn’t be given steroids at all (including us humans!)

Comments are closed.


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