The American Greyhound Council (AGC) has offered its assistance as Florida regulators gather additional information about several greyhound deaths reported by tracks in compliance with state law. The offer was announced in a statement issued by the AGC late today. The complete text follows:
AGC STATEMENT ON GREYHOUND DEATHS IN FLORIDA
On Sunday, February 16, several Florida media outlets carried stories about greyhound deaths at Florida tracks. Greyhound tracks and kennel operators take their greyhound welfare obligations very seriously. When greyhound fatalities are reported, no one is more concerned than the people who work with these dogs every day.
The American Greyhound Council (AGC) is the organization in greyhound racing that funds and oversees greyhound welfare, safety and adoption programs. The AGC was formed as a joint effort by the National Greyhound Association (NGA), representing greyhound breeders and kennel operators; and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association (AGTOA), representing tracks.
Over the past decade, the industry has made significant progress in reducing serious greyhound injuries at the track through various measures, including improvements to track surfaces, new safer lure technologies, safer fencing, widening of turns and other techniques.
As a result of these efforts, we are proud to report that fewer than one-half of one percent of all racing starts result in injuries, and only a tiny fraction of those result in a greyhound fatality. Florida's 13 tracks saw an estimated 400,000 racing starts in 2013.
Greyhound breeders and kennel operators have adopted some of the toughest self-regulatory standards of any animal industry. Anyone found guilty of failing to provide proper care for racing greyhounds is banned from the sport for life, and others in racing prohibited from doing business with them.
Greyhound racing is proud of these advances, but we also recognize that further improvement is needed. As long as even one greyhound loses its life, we have more work to do. We are committed to making further meaningful progress on this front.
Meanwhile, the AGC has offered all possible assistance to Florida regulators as they work to determine the facts of these reported incidents. We respect the role of regulators in ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and we stand ready to support their efforts.
At its annual meeting on Sunday, February 9, in Las Vegas, the Board of Directors of the American Greyhound Council (AGC) adopted a resolution encouraging greyhound tracks to consider the installation of newly available safe lures to enhance the safety of racing greyhounds. The resolution also endorses efforts by industry members and others to deveop safer and more efficient lure technologies. Read more to see the full resolution.
The Florida Greyhound Association (FGA) has launched a new website to make current, accurate informatoin on greyhound racing more accessible to the public, industry members and greyhound enthusiasts.
FGA President Jim Blanchard said the new site was launched to satisfy the changing information needs of 21st century consumers. It offers news, updates and statistics about greyhound racing and adoption in the sunshine state. The organization also created a new Facebook page.
A West Palm Beach adoption volunteer who has been described as “unendingly devoted to greyhounds” has been named 2013 Greyhound Adoption Person of the Year (GAPY) by the American Greyhound Council (AGC).
Monica Smith is a founding member of Greyhound Support Transport (GST), a not-for-profit organization that specializes in moving greyhounds from Florida tracks to adoption groups in non-racing states in the U.S. and Canada for placement in permanent homes. The group transports an average of 36 greyhounds every six weeks at a cost of nearly $5,800 per haul.