The already-troubled racing greyhound industry is likely to face the worse with a bill banning anabolic steroid use by racing dogs.

Florida is one of just six states left in the United States that still allows active greyhound racing, but lawmakers may put an end to the race.

A new state bill that could stop the use of anabolic drugs is gaining speed these days to ensure the health and integrity of the racing greyhounds. A bill banning the use of anabolic steroids on racing greyhounds is about to make its way to the Florida House floor.

State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, the sponsor of the bill, remarked testosterone in Greyhound racing dogs can also serve as a performance enhancing drug. Smith added since greyhound racing is gambling and there is a certain word for that and it is called cheating and added this is why this bill has been brought forward so we can ban the use of harmful steroids and protect the integrity of the industry.

Jeff Kottkamp, former Lieutenant Governor who also represents the greyhound racing industry, remarked it is antithetical to think owners would harm a dog that must be in top racing condition. Kottkamp added frankly nobody cares about these animals than their owners.

Some animal activists are of the view that trainers are now taking extreme measures to prevent further loss, including using anabolic steroids on racing dogs. The use of steroids results in better performance and also helps keep female greyhounds from going into heat and not race. Female racing greyhounds are administered with testosterone twice a week in the form of a chewable tablet to keep them going into heat.

Carey Theil, the executive director of Grey2K, an organization working to protect greyhounds, has remarked greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. Theil also commented that the use of anabolic steroids raises a major question about the integrity of the industry.

It is illegal to use steroids on racing dogs as per state regulators. However, the state does not check for the presence of these drugs when dogs are tested after a race.

Only 19 dog tracks remain in the United States and 12 of them are in Florida, including the Palm Beach County Kennel Club.

Fred Johnson, who works with the Florida Greyhound Association of Jacksonville, remarked a catastrophe would ensue without the ability to use steroids. Johnson said no one could stop if there is a fight with males trying to get over here to get to those females that you have 30 of them outside and 30 males.

Jack Cory, who represents the Florida Grey Hound association, said he does not see any point why anyone would want to stop dog owners from using the drug. Cory remarked birth control is birth control whether it is in a dog or a human being. And birth control methods have been used for a long time in this country—legally, honestly, and morally.

Animal rights activist Kate MacFall with the Humane Society of the United States on the other hand has remarked steroids are abusive to female greyhounds. MacFall said for the female dogs it gives them male parts over time.

Greyhound owners have long stopped using drugs in other countries to keep their female dogs from going into heat.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Bill To Ban Steroid Use By Racing Greyhounds

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