RE: Amendment 4 in the Florida ballot

Since UM hosted the first presidential debate, all the attention has focused on the presidential candidates, but we should not forget about amendments on the ballot that concern local Florida issues.

This November there is an amendment on the ballot that will ask Floridians to allow casino-type activities to help subsidize animal cruelty.

Amendment 4 seeks to allow slot machines in dog tracks. Instead of focusing on the truth – slot machines in dog tracks will only increase the owners’ wealth – misleading commercials claim that education funds will be subsidized. However, the Lottery was supposed to subsidize education and ended up (unsuccessfully) replacing, not subsidizing, the funds.

Regardless of how one feels about casino-type gambling, this amendment will support a cruel industry. The Truth is that Florida dog tracks already receive numerous tax cuts and are interested only in increasing profits in their dying industry.

If this amendment passes, it will be mandatory that the dog races continue in order to be allowed to operate the slot machines. This will guarantee the continued suffering of thousands of dogs.

Greyhounds live in cruel conditions. These graceful dogs are a short-term investment for the dog racing industry. Greyhounds are kept in cages for 22 hours a day, fed the cheapest meat available and have questionable veterinary care. They sustain painful and fatal injuries, and more than a hundred have tested positive for cocaine. When they are not longer profitable, they are killed.

I will be voting No on Amendment 4 and encourage other UM students to realize the power their vote can have on the local issues in November’s ballot.

Caroline Gallina

Law Student