- The Washington Times - Monday, February 17, 2014

New laws took effect last spring requiring Florida to report the deaths of greyhounds on dog racing tracks, and 74 dogs, or one every three days, have been reported dead during that time.

Operators at Florida’s 13 dog-racing tracks are now required to notify the state within 18 hours of a dog’s death at a track or racing kennel, according to the Miami Herald.

From May 31 to Dec. 31, 74 greyhounds died on race track property, or one every three days, the newspaper reported.

Massachusetts-based advocacy group Grey2K reviewed the death notices, concluding that a total of 31 greyhounds died or were euthanized “for racing-related reasons — from injuries, suspected heatstroke and unknown causes,” The Herald wrote.

“Another 17 deaths appeared to be racing-related, based on the comments that the dogs fell, collided or were hit during the race.”

The most deaths were reported at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg and the Daytona Beach Kennel Club, with 12 each.

Still, advocacy groups say the laws require the race tracks to be more transparent.

Grey2K executive director Carey Theil argued the laws help curb the number of greyhounds euthanized.

“In Massachusetts the number of greyhounds that were killed dropped by 43 percent in the first year after passage of an injury reporting law,” Mr. Theil said.

The state is still in the learning stages of the new laws but will take appropriate action if necessary, Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokeswoman Tajiana Ancora-Brown told The Herald.

“The department has gone over and above what is expected to try to communicate with the licensees,” she said. “After we feel we have exhausted those efforts, there will be action taken to comply with the rule.”