Drug testing for racing greyhounds to continue

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The State Department of Business and Professional Regulation is fighting back after an administrative judge declared the department's policy for drug testing greyhounds invalid.

His ruling found the policies were never properly adopted into state regulations.

In response, the department has issued an emergency rule. Citing an immediate danger to public health, it allows 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. It means that the racing is less honest than it was before and it's just another point that leads us to say it's time for greyhound racing to be gone in Florida," said Laura Bevan of the Humane Society.

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 that they meet the standards today, protecting the animal number one, protecting the integrity of racing number two," said Cory.

Anti-racing group Grey2K says it's 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.