‘Johnny’ and ‘Twiggy’ make the pitch to end greyhound racingby Dara Kam | January 17th, 2012
Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, and Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, had “Johnny” and “Twiggy” on hand at a press conference for their proposal to allow dog tracks to keep their card rooms and other gambling activities but put an end to greyhound racing.
Sachs, whose district is home to the Palm Beach Kennel Club, said the state needs to quit subsidizing the dying industry and allow the pari-mutuels to stop the dog races that have become just an excuse to offer more lucrative poker games.
And, the bipartisan pair said, their “decoupling” bills (SB 382, HB 641) will put an end to the inhumane treatment of some greyhounds at smaller tracks. The pari-mutuel industry also supports the measures.
“It’s just not where we’re at as a people anymore,” Sachs said.
A similar proposal died on the last day of last year’s session over a dispute about tax breaks for the dog tracks, including PBKC.
The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and GREY2K USA are also backing a measure (SB 488, HB 527) that would allow counties to charge an extra $10 for animal cruelty fines and let the money be spent on spay and neuter programs.
The animal rights groups are opposing a proposal (SB 1184, HB 1021) dubbed the “ag gag” bill that would make it a crime to take pictures or video of agricultural property.