Among the winners of Tuesday’s midterm elections are the racing greyhounds of Florida.
According to the ASPCA, the state voted to pass Amendment 13, which promises to phase out commercial greyhound racing in Florida by 2020.
Florida will join 40 other states that have banned greyhound racing. The passing of Amendment 13 is key to banning greyhound racing across the United States, since 11 of the 17 greyhound racetracks still operating in the country are located in Florida.
The sport takes a serious toll on the animals: the ASPCA reports that a racing dog dies every three days in Florida.
“For decades the Florida legislature failed to protect greyhounds abused by the racing industry. Today voters made a historic choice to make Florida a more humane state,” Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said in a statement. “Amendment 13 puts an end to the cycle of cruelty that victimized greyhounds in the state for far too long. These social dogs will soon be able to retire and enjoy running on their own terms, without being forced to spend most of their days in cages or being drugged to enhance their performance.”
Greyhounds weren’t the only animals to find protection at the polls on Tuesday. California voters approved Proposition 12, which will require the state to provide cage-free housing and more space for baby veal calves, mother pigs and egg-laying hens living in factory farms.
“The passage of Prop. 12 will protect countless farm animals from cruelty and we applaud California voters for speaking out against these horrific practices,” Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA, said in a statement.