Full Statute Name:  Question 3: Dog Racing

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Primary Citation:  Question 3 (2000) Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  August, 2014 Date Adopted:  2000
Summary: This Massachusetts ballot question asked voters in 2000 whether they wanted to prohibit in Massachusetts any dog racing where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occurs. Any person violating the proposed law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000 to the State Racing Commission. The question failed with 49% voting "yes" and 51% voting "no" on the question.
Statute Text: 

Question 3: Dog Racing

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition
Summary:
As required by law, summaries are written by the state Attorney General, and the statements describing the effect of a "yes" or "no" vote are written jointly by the State Attorney General and the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

This proposed law would prohibit in Massachusetts any dog racing or racing meeting where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occurs.

The State Racing Commission would be prohibited from accepting or approving any application or request for racing dates for dog racing.

Any person violating the proposed law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000 to the State Racing Commission. The penalty would be used for the Commission's administrative purposes, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature.

All existing provisions of the part of the state's General Laws concerning dog and horse racing meetings would be interpreted as not applying to anything dog-related.

The proposed law would take effect on June 1, 2001. The proposed law states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the rest of the law would stay in effect.

What Your Vote Will Do:
A YES VOTE would prohibit dog races where betting or wagering occurs.
A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws governing dog racing.

Arguments For and Against:
As provided by law, the 150-word arguments are written by proponents and opponents of each question, and reflect their opinions. The
Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not endorse these arguments, and does not certify the truth or accuracy of any statement made in these arguments. The names of the individuals and organizations who wrote each argument, and any written comments by others about each argument, are on file in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

In Favor:
Your "YES" vote will:

  • Stop The Killing Of Thousands Of Greyhounds Each Year The greyhound racing industry admits to killing thousands of dogs each year nationwide, including in Massachusetts. These dogs are killed when they stop turning a profit.
  • Stop Your Tax Dollars From Subsidizing A Declining Industry An increasing amount of your taxes go to subsidize dog racing in Massachusetts, even though state revenues from dog racing have dropped almost 70% in the last decade and jobs have declined steadily. Our tax dollars should not be used to bailout this declining industry.
  • Stop Inhumane Treatment Racing greyhounds are locked in crates up to 22 hours every day and are subjected to inhumane conditions that no one would tolerate for their own dog.

Dog racing is illegal in 34 states. The Animal Rescue League, the MSPCA, and every major animal protection group urge you to vote yes on Question 3.

Authored by: Grey 2K Box 1606Jamaica Plain, MA02130 (617) 666-3526

Against:
The proposed law would force the State's two greyhound racetracks to close by
June 1, 2001. The measure would destroy a 65-year-old industry, leave thousands unemployed and deprive the Commonwealth of pari-mutuel taxes which have exceeded $400 million over the last twenty years.

Greyhound racing in Massachusetts has an excellent record. No violations of animal welfare regulations have been documented. Racing is highly regulated by the State Racing Commission, and animal welfare regulations are enforced by state and local police as well as state-approved veterinarians and the MSPCA.

Massachusetts greyhound racing fully complies with the American Veterinary Medical Association definition of animal welfare "...a human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling..."

This proposed law would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to the elimination of other animal industries such as livestock and fishing.

Authored by: Massachusetts Chapter of the American Greyhound Council 229 Western AvenueEssex, MA01929 (978) 768-9111

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