Thursday, December 24, 2009

ReGAP Advocacy News

I am speechless, horrified, terrified, and uber worried.  I hope I can at least foster if/when this happens...

United Pathfinder Project. ( UP Committee)

Nine greyhound tracks will no longer race greyhounds in 2010. This
constitutes 1/3 reduction of the current number of greyhound tracks in the
US. In 2010 only 23 greyhound tracks nationwide will still remain in
operation. Florida, with its 13 tracks, will have more active racetracks
than the rest of the states combined.

In 2009 legislation was introduced to allow Florida tracks to
discontinue live racing and still maintain their simulcast operations and
Poker room activities. That bill failed to get out of committee but it
became apparent to the House and Senate that it was one of the "wants" of
several of the Florida tracks.

There are many who feel that similar legislation will come up again, in
2010, and may pass as a consolation to the tracks for other pro-Pari-mutuel
bills that failed, like allowing tracks to have the full use of slot

We are not saying that it WILL happen in 2010 but IF it does happen
there could be as many as 5 or 6 Florida tracks that would discontinue live
racing. If not in 2010 it could be in 2011.

Unlike the track closings in Arizona, Massachusetts and New
Hampshire, the tracks in Florida that would close would be the lower-end
tracks that every other track in the country uses to send their poorly
competitive greyhounds. This will be unlike the Dairyland track closing,
where more than 2/3rds of their hounds went to race at other tracks. At the
low end tracks in Florida, It will be more likely that VERY FEW greyhounds
can go on to race at other tracks, as MOST tracks would be a step or two UP
from their current competition level.

How many non-competitive greyhounds would be looking for homes
should Florida pass legislation allowing tracks to discontinue live racing??
Each track has between 500 to 1,000 greyhounds in their kennels and with 5
or 6 tracks taking the option to end racing the numbers COULD be well over
3,000 ALL AT ONCE. 

I refer to the above as a greyhound Tsunami, and there is a SECOND
wave that may even precede the first. Since the greyhounds come to the
track at 15 to 18 months of age there are well over 20,000 greyhounds that
are currently on farms waiting to race. With the track closings of 2009
there will already be 1/3rd less tracks for these hounds to go to start
racing and owners are already experiencing problems placing their greyhounds
at tracks.
There will, no doubt, be owners that will stop paying boarding fees and
create problems for farmers and greyhounds on those farms.

We may be able to convince the NGA to establish a HOT LINE for owners
and farmers to avoid problems that will involve pups that are not yet
racing! Knowing the full scope of the problem can only help prepare for

What can all the adoption groups in the US and Canada do to prepare
for such an event?

Inform their membership of the "POSSIBILITY" of such an event and
rally them to get as many people to commit to fostering one greyhound for
this one time event.

Contact Local vets, inform them of the likelihood of this mass
layoff of greyhounds and ask their support to spay and neuter, as that will
cut the time for greyhounds to exit Florida.

Plan fundraising events to swing into place WHEN this event
becomes imminent. This will help local groups pay for veterinary work and
may even pay some to the transport costs incurred with this mass exodus. 

I am sure that we all thought that greyhound racing would not be
closing down as quickly as it is at present but it would be sad if we did
not see what is coming and take action early. Although some would say it
will never happen just think of all those greyhounds needing help IF it

I feel if we fail to plan ........ We plan to fail! Although this is
a Herculean task, IF we all rally together. ........ United....WE CAN MAKE A

Dennis Tyler
GPA Central Florida Chapter


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