May 20, 2021

Cárdenas Re-Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Ban Greyhound Racing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29) re-introduced the bipartisan Greyhound Protection Act with Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL-06), Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar (R-FL-27), Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07), and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01). The legislation will amend the Wire Act to end greyhound racing and live-lure training.

“Greyhound racing is cruel and must end,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “These docile animals are kept in stacked cages for 20 hours or more a day and are subjected to brutal training practices and races, facing the risk of injury and death at every turn. My bipartisan bill allows for a sensible wind-down of an already-declining industry that will ultimately outlaw greyhound racing. As a longtime animal welfare advocate, I am always committed to speaking up for the voiceless.”

“Greyhound racing has an inhumane track record,” said Congressman Waltz. “The State of Florida, like nearly all states, has banned greyhound racing because Floridians respect our canine friends. I’m proud to co-lead this legislation to ensure the health and safety of dogs across the country.”

“I’m proud to reintroduce this measure, which will permit the managed winddown of an industry in decline and provide protection for the graceful racing dogs that made it possible. As a longtime animal protection advocate, I support the effort to responsibly end this inhumane sport,” said Congressman Cohen, a longtime member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. 

“Florida was once the mecca of greyhound racing before the state voted overwhelmingly to end this cruel and inhumane practice,” said Congresswoman Salazar. “The Greyhound Protection Act is the last lap in transitioning us away from this traumatic sport and finally treating these dogs with compassion.” 

“Floridians have already demonstrated overwhelming support for protecting greyhounds, and retired race dogs have found loving homes in my district,” said Congresswoman Murphy. “I’m proud to work on a bipartisan basis to replicate the animal welfare successes we’ve seen in Florida in communities nationwide.”

“Greyhound racing is an outdated practice that promotes animal cruelty,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, I’m committed to ensuring our government is doing its part to always promote animal welfare.”

The legislation has been endorsed by more than a hundred animal protection groups and community leaders, including 70 local animal shelters from 31 states. Notable endorsers include Animal Wellness Action, GREY2K USA, Center for a Humane Economy, Stop Predatory Gambling, the Federation of Humane Organizations of West Virginia, Eastwood Ranch Rescue, the National Greyhound Adoption Program, the National Humane Education Society, Dumb Friends League, Alaqua Animal Refuge, and Best Friends Animal Society.

“Our new investigation of greyhound breeding farms shows that dog racing is cruel from start to finish,” stated Christine A. Dorchak, President and General Counsel of GREY2K USA. “This is an antiquated industry with a compulsion for cruelty.”

The Greyhound Protection Act was first introduced during the 116th Congress after a startling investigation exposed live lure training in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Farms were found training dogs by allowing them to tear apart rabbits to accustom them to chasing the mechanical lure used for racing. Some states have long-standing prohibitions on the use of live lures, and industry leaders have denied for decades that the practice exists. Forty-one states have banned greyhound racing. The last track in Arkansas will close in 2021, leaving just West Virginia and Iowa as the only states with greyhound racetracks. 

Cárdenas is a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and is a cosponsor of various bills that aim to strengthen America’s animal welfare policies.