WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The end of greyhound racing in the Sunshine State is here.
The final race in Florida will occur just a mere minute before midnight on New Year’s Eve at Palm Beach Kennel Club, reports The Palm Beach Post. The track will begin live dog racing at noon, and the final race will go off at 11:59 p.m.
In 2018, Florida voters approved an amendment that will phase out live greyhound races statewide by 2021.
Back in April, a judge rejected a challenge to the ban. A lawsuit filed by the industry group Support Working Animals, Inc., and individual plaintiffs raised a series of issues under the U.S. Constitution, including that the ballot measure, known as Amendment 13, has led to an improper "taking" of property without adequate compensation.
However, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker dismissed the lawsuit in a 55-page ruling.
"Whether Amendment 13’s purpose was to protect the health and welfare of racing dogs or to prohibit wagering on dog races, Amendment 13 is a legitimate exercise of Florida’s police power," Walker wrote.
Derby Lane in St. Petersburg ended its live greyhound races on Sunday. At 95 years old, it was the oldest continuously operating greyhound track in the country.
When the clock strikes midnight, Florida will join the majority of the country outlawing dog racing.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report