Connect with us
Photo: Van Abernethy

Headlines

Regulators plan to keep using emergency rule on race-dog drug testing

Gambling regulators this week said they plan to keep using an emergency rule that allows them to continue testing racing greyhounds for drugs.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which regulates gambling through its Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, posted a “notice of renewal” in Thursday’s Florida Administrative Register.

In Florida, live dog racing is still conducted at 12 tracks.

The emergency rule on “Procedures for Collecting Samples from Racing Greyhounds” was adopted late last December.

That was after an administrative law judge struck down the testing program, saying it was invalid. Thursday’s notice said a rule challenge was still pending in the Division of Administrative Hearings.

Judge Lawrence P. Stevenson barred the state from relying on a 2010 testing manual because it wasn’t properly adopted, though as one of the division’s lawyers said, “There aren’t that many ways to do urine collection.”

The emergency rule, for example, includes using “evidence tape” to seal samples and storing them in “lockable freezers” until they’re sent off for testing.

A cocaine-in-dogs controversy came to light in Jacksonville last summer. That in part spurred a constitutional amendment for the 2018 ballot to ban greyhound racing in the state.

Attorney Jeff Kottkamp, who represents the Florida Greyhound Association, has said it has “a zero-tolerance policy for anyone that would give a racing greyhound any illegal substance.” The organization advocates for the state’s race-dog owners and breeders.

Photo credit: Van Abernethy

Written By

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 jim@floridapolitics.com.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.