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Venice Council supports approval of dog racing ban

Though Amendment 13 remains in legal limbo, the Venice City Council is now on the record in support of the proposed greyhound racing ban being approved by voters this November.

The city lies in Sarasota County, a county which has hosted greyhound races since 1929 at the Sarasota Kennel Club.

But the Venice City Council is advocating for the passage of Amendment 13, which could ban those races starting in 2021, should it be placed on the ballot pending a legal challenge now being heard by the Florida Supreme Court.

“The City of Venice hereby declares support of proposed constitutional Amendment 13 to phase-out the cruelty of commercial greyhound racing,” reads the relevant section of the resolution.

The resolution also calls greyhound racing “a dying industry” and asserts “public opposition to commercial greyhound racing is increasing due to both humane and economic concerns.”

On the other hand, greyhound boosters, like Jennifer Newcome of the Committee to Support Greyhounds, have said dog racing “has been a proud Florida tradition for decades, as well as an integral part of the Florida economy, creating thousands of jobs, contributing to the tax base and supporting local charities.”

The Florida Greyhound Association challenged Amendment 13, arguing its title and summary were misleading. That argument satisfied a lower court judge earlier this month, who ordered the amendment stricken from the November ballot.

The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments on the case on Wednesday, and will ultimately decide the amendment’s fate. If it does make the ballot, it must earn 60 percent of the vote in order to pass.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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