Greyhound drug testing to continue despite procedures being invalidated

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By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
December 28, 2017

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Racing greyhounds in Florida will continue to be tested for cocaine and other drugs.

The State Department of Business and Professional Regulation has issued an emergency rule to allow for the testing, which comes a week after an administrative judge invalidated the department's previous drug testing procedures.

In response, the department cited an immediate danger to public health in not allowing the state to continue testing greyhounds.

Anti-racing advocates echo the state's concerns.

"It's open season in Florida for people to use drugs in the greyhounds," said Laura Bevan of the Humane Society. "It means that the racing is less honest than it was before and it's another point that leads us to say it's time for greyhound racing to be gone in Florida."

Pro-racing advocates say the current drug testing methods and standards often result in false positives and they're upset the state didn't work with them to come up with a new, more reliable policy.

Jack Cory, a lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association, says the state's standards for a failed test are so low, natural trace amounts of substances can result in a breeder losing their license.

"We need to update the rules and the testing so they meet the standards today, protecting the animal number one and protecting the integrity of racing number two," Cory said.

Anti-racing group Grey2K says its happy the state moved quickly to issue a new rule, but it fears pending doping cases could still be thrown out, leaving dogs in danger.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation has also filed a motion asking the Administrative Judge to reconsider his inaugural ruling. If reversed, it would prevent pending cases from being thrown out.

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