Once again, a greyhound decoupling bill has been introduced in the Florida legislature. If you are not familiar with the legislation, you can read my summary of last year’s bill here. Decoupling effectively separates the need for greyhound racing tracks to have racing in order to have other forms of gambling, such as poker. The bill would allow those tracks to have these games without the mandatory need for racing. The legislation is generally supported by track owners, as greyhound racing is not as profitable as other forms of gambling. However, it is opposed by greyhound trainers and breeders. Greyhound racing is inherently cruel with animals leading hard lives in isolating conditions and often developing injuries from their lives racing. The national organization Grey2K is asking Florida residents to contact their State Representatives and Senators to support House Bill 382 and Senate Bill 641. To locate your representative please go to www.voteforthedogs.org.
The Florida Animal Rescue Act (FARA) has been approved by the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee and is now in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee. According to No Kill Nation’s action alert , “This groundbreaking legislation will make it illegal for shelters to kill an animal that a qualified 501(c)(3) rescue organization is willing to save. The bill also requires that all public and private animal shelters publicly document the intake and outcome for each animal, and to disclose the shelter’s performance for all animals under their care.” The purpose of the law is to make shelter’s more accountable for saving lives and to take those steps necessary to do so. No Kill Nation reports that “A statewide survey of Florida non-profit animal rescue organizations found that 63% of rescue groups have had at least one Florida shelter refuse to work collaboratively with them and then turn around and kill the very animals they were willing to save. The most common reason given was shelters either not having a policy of working with rescue groups or being openly hostile to doing so.” For more information about this important bill visit http://www.floridarescueact.com/ and take action by contacting by contacting the members of the House Subcommittee and your local legislators. Your action is needed because the bill is opposed by animal welfare organizations who state that many rescue groups are hoarders and this legislation may encourage hoarding, among other things. No Kill Nation systematically addresses their concerns on their Facebook page. However, the bill is supported by many Florida rescue groups, Florida residents, No Kill Nation, and Alley Cat Allies. You may also take action by visiting the Alley Cat Allies website.