Humane Animal Legislation sounds like an oxymoron to me after living a dozen years in Arizona. What a concept. To his credit, State Senator Steve Farley introduced two animal cruelty bills.
SB1161 institutes a public animal abuser registry similar to a sex offender registry for those convicted of felony animal cruelty so that kennels and other places that adopt out animals can make sure the prospective owner is a safe guardian. Members of the public will be able to see who is in their neighborhood, too, so they can avoid walking the dog in the vicinity of the abuser’s home, and perhaps keep their kids away as well.
Start-up costs will be paid for by donations from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. This has strong bipartisan and law enforcement support, including the backing of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
SB1167 adds dog fighting, cockfighting, and other animal fighting to the list of crimes to which the RICO racketeering statutes can be applied, allowing prosecutors to seize not just the animals, but also all property belonging to those convicting of those crimes. This is another strong deterrent that has the effect of taking away the resources of these fighting rings who otherwise take their money and move their operations into other communities.
Both of these are great ideas. I hope these bills pass! Thank you Senator Farley.
According to Farley, stopping animal abuse is not just important for those of us who care deeply for the welfare of animals — it also stops human violence, since many studies conclusively prove the connection between abuse of animals and later abuse of humans. This is another small piece of the puzzle as we seek ways of reducing the possibility of future mass shootings.
Judging by all the emails Tucson Tails received, what about some legislation regarding greyhound racing?
Traditionally, Democrats in the legislature have not made that leap in leading the way. Greyhound legislation is a bipartisan issue. In the past few months, there has been an avalanche of media regarding Tucson Greyhound Park. None of the media has been positive. The majority of people on planet Arizona and beyond find dog racing inhumane and repulsive. The only people who want it to continue are the people who make money off of it.
Here are some ideas for legislative bills:
–Remove the hardship tax credit. Tucson Greyhound Park has enjoyed a hardship tax credit since 1995. The hardship tax credit was created through legislation. Tucson Greyhound Park’s hardship tax credits are reported in the Arizona Department of Racing’s Annual Report each year.
F/Y Tax Credit Track Revenues
2003 $ 450,159 $ 5,138,760
2004 $ 364,234 $ 4,689,776
2005 $ 418,883 $ 4,473,920
2006 $ 443,259 $ 4,377,744
2007 $ 320,798 $ 5,118,705
2008 $ 217,037 $ 3,878,441
2009 $ 232,750 $ 3,166,066
2010 $ 371,807 $ 3,560,158
2011 $ 472,604 $ 3,773,306
2012 $ 488,582 $ 3,772,735
10-yr totals: tax credit – $ 3,780,133
10-yr totals: revenue - $41,949,611
What other businesses where dogs die and are routinely injured receive hardship tax credits? What other businesses receive hardship tax credits period? Tucson Greyhound Park does not pay income tax on its live dog racing or simulcast pari-mutuel revenues.
Also, Tucson Greyhound Park profits do not make their way back to the Arizona economy; the track’s owners are two out-of-state millionaires, and according to reports, they have not paid taxes on their Arizona earnings. What other business owners don’t pay taxes on their incomes? Where are the fiscal legislative champions?
–Remove the loophole Tucson Greyhound Park uses for not producing injury reports. Perhaps this is something for the Goldwater Institute to investigate?
–Pierce the Dome Agreement! Arizona is the only state where the horse racing industry has to share money with the dog track. Where are the horse-racing lobbyists?
–Tucson Greyhound Park’s broken leg dogs should not be forced to lie in their kennel crates for days. They should be immediately removed from the kennels and taken to a specialty veterinary clinic to have their legs fixed promptly and properly on the track’s dime. Then those injured dogs should immediately be retired to adoption groups.
–Pass this bill! HB 2329 (Kwasman & Livingston – Rs), is a bill brought on behalf of the owners of Tucson Greyhound Racing and their lobbyist. Currently, TGP has to race dogs 100 days per calendar year and needs the consent of a majority of kennel operators to race fewer days per year or to end live dog racing entirely. They previously had 9 kennels but now have 7 kennels. This new bill HB 2329 would allow live dog racing to end; no consent from kennel operators needed. TGP could stay open for simulcasting other races which is the bulk of its income anyway.
Live greyhound racing or not, remove the hardship tax credit.
Now is the time to contact your AZ legislators about what matters to you! Share this blog post far and wide. Greyhounds deserve better!