2015 Florida Statutes
Racing of animals under certain conditions prohibited; penalties; exceptions.
Racing of animals under certain conditions prohibited; penalties; exceptions.
550.2415 Racing of animals under certain conditions prohibited; penalties; exceptions.—
(1)(a) The racing of an animal that has been impermissibly medicated or determined to have a prohibited substance present is prohibited. It is a violation of this section for a person to impermissibly medicate an animal or for an animal to have a prohibited substance present resulting in a positive test for such medications or substances based on samples taken from the animal before or immediately after the racing of that animal. Test results and the identities of the animals being tested and of their trainers and owners of record are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and from s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for 10 days after testing of all samples collected on a particular day has been completed and any positive test results derived from such samples have been reported to the director of the division or administrative action has been commenced.
(b) It is a violation of this section for a race-day specimen to contain a level of a naturally occurring substance which exceeds normal physiological concentrations. The division may solicit input from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and adopt rules that specify normal physiological concentrations of naturally occurring substances in the natural untreated animal and rules that specify acceptable levels of environmental contaminants and trace levels of substances in test samples.
(c) The finding of a prohibited substance in a race-day specimen constitutes prima facie evidence that the substance was administered and was carried in the body of the animal while participating in the race.
(2) Administrative action may be taken by the division against an occupational licensee responsible pursuant to rule of the division for the condition of an animal that has been impermissibly medicated or drugged in violation of this section.
(3)(a) Upon the finding of a violation of this section, the division may revoke or suspend the license or permit of the violator or deny a license or permit to the violator; impose a fine against the violator in an amount not exceeding the purse or sweepstakes earned by the animal in the race at issue or $10,000, whichever is greater; require the full or partial return of the purse, sweepstakes, and trophy of the race at issue; or impose against the violator any combination of such penalties. The finding of a violation of this section does not prohibit a prosecution for criminal acts committed.
(b) The division, notwithstanding chapter 120, may summarily suspend the license of an occupational licensee responsible under this section or division rule for the condition of a race animal if the division laboratory reports the presence of a prohibited substance in the animal or its blood, urine, saliva, or any other bodily fluid, either before a race in which the animal is entered or after a race the animal has run.
(c) If an occupational licensee is summarily suspended under this section, the division shall offer the licensee a prompt postsuspension hearing within 72 hours, at which the division shall produce the laboratory report and documentation which, on its face, establishes the responsibility of the occupational licensee. Upon production of the documentation, the occupational licensee has the burden of proving his or her lack of responsibility.
(d) Any proceeding for administrative action against a licensee or permittee, other than a proceeding under paragraph (c), shall be conducted in compliance with chapter 120.
(4) A prosecution pursuant to this section for a violation of this section must begin within 90 days after the violation was committed. Service of an administrative complaint marks the commencement of administrative action.
(5) The division shall implement a split-sample procedure for testing animals under this section.
(a) The division shall notify the owner or trainer, the stewards, and the appropriate horsemen’s association of all drug test results. If a drug test result is positive, and upon request by the affected trainer or owner of the animal from which the sample was obtained, the division shall send the split sample to an approved independent laboratory for analysis. The division shall establish standards and rules for uniform enforcement and shall maintain a list of at least five approved independent laboratories for an owner or trainer to select from if a drug test result is positive.
(b) If the division laboratory’s findings are not confirmed by the independent laboratory, no further administrative or disciplinary action under this section may be pursued.
(c) If the independent laboratory confirms the division laboratory’s positive result, the division may commence administrative proceedings as prescribed in this chapter and consistent with chapter 120. For purposes of this subsection, the department shall in good faith attempt to obtain a sufficient quantity of the test fluid to allow both a primary test and a secondary test to be made.
(d) For the testing of a racing greyhound, if there is an insufficient quantity of the secondary (split) sample for confirmation of the division laboratory’s positive result, the division may commence administrative proceedings as prescribed in this chapter and consistent with chapter 120.
(e) For the testing of a racehorse, if there is an insufficient quantity of the secondary (split) sample for confirmation of the division laboratory’s positive result, the division may not take further action on the matter against the owner or trainer, and any resulting license suspension must be immediately lifted.
(f) The division shall require its laboratory and the independent laboratories to annually participate in an externally administered quality assurance program designed to assess testing proficiency in the detection and appropriate quantification of medications, drugs, and naturally occurring substances that may be administered to racing animals. The administrator of the quality assurance program shall report its results and findings to the division and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(6)(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that animals that participate in races in this state on which pari-mutuel wagering is conducted and animals that are bred and trained in this state for racing be treated humanely, both on and off racetracks, throughout the lives of the animals.
(b) The division shall, by rule, establish the procedures for euthanizing greyhounds. However, a greyhound may not be put to death by any means other than by lethal injection of the drug sodium pentobarbital. A greyhound may not be removed from this state for the purpose of being destroyed.
(c) It is a violation of this chapter for an occupational licensee to train a greyhound using live or dead animals. A greyhound may not be taken from this state for the purpose of being trained through the use of live or dead animals.
(d) Any act committed by any licensee that would constitute cruelty to animals as defined in s. 828.02 involving any animal constitutes a violation of this chapter. Imposition of any penalty by the division for violation of this chapter or any rule adopted by the division pursuant to this chapter shall not prohibit a criminal prosecution for cruelty to animals.
(e) The division may inspect any area at a pari-mutuel facility where racing animals are raced, trained, housed, or maintained, including any areas where food, medications, or other supplies are kept, to ensure the humane treatment of racing animals and compliance with this chapter and the rules of the division.
(7)(a) In order to protect the safety and welfare of racing animals and the integrity of the races in which the animals participate, the division shall adopt rules establishing the conditions of use and maximum concentrations of medications, drugs, and naturally occurring substances identified in the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule, Version 2.1, revised April 17, 2014, adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc. Controlled therapeutic medications include only the specific medications and concentrations allowed in biological samples which have been approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., as controlled therapeutic medications.
(b) The division rules must designate the appropriate biological specimens by which the administration of medications, drugs, and naturally occurring substances is monitored and must determine the testing methodologies, including measurement uncertainties, for screening such specimens to confirm the presence of medications, drugs, and naturally occurring substances.
(c) The division rules must include a classification system for drugs and substances and a corresponding penalty schedule for violations which incorporates the Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances, Version 8.0, revised December 2014, by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc. The division shall adopt laboratory screening limits approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., for drugs and medications that are not included as controlled therapeutic medications, the presence of which in a sample may result in a violation of this section.
(d) The division rules must include conditions for the use of furosemide to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.
(e) The division may solicit input from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in adopting the rules required under this subsection. Such rules must be adopted before January 1, 2016.
(f) This section does not prohibit the use of vitamins, minerals, or naturally occurring substances so long as none exceeds the normal physiological concentration in a race-day specimen.
(8) Furosemide is the only medication that may be administered within 24 hours before the officially scheduled post time of a race, but it may not be administered within 4 hours before the officially scheduled post time of a race.
(9)(a) The division may conduct a postmortem examination of any animal that is injured at a permitted racetrack while in training or in competition and that subsequently expires or is destroyed. The division may conduct a postmortem examination of any animal that expires while housed at a permitted racetrack, association compound, or licensed kennel or farm. Trainers and owners shall be requested to comply with this paragraph as a condition of licensure.
(b) The division may take possession of the animal upon death for postmortem examination. The division may submit blood, urine, other bodily fluid specimens, or other tissue specimens collected during a postmortem examination for testing by the division laboratory or its designee. Upon completion of the postmortem examination, the carcass must be returned to the owner or disposed of at the owner’s option.
(10) The presence of a prohibited substance in an animal, found by the division laboratory in a bodily fluid specimen collected after the race or during the postmortem examination of the animal, which breaks down during a race constitutes a violation of this section.
(11) The cost of postmortem examinations, testing, and disposal must be borne by the division.
(12) The division shall adopt rules to implement this section.
(13) The division may implement by rule medication levels for racing greyhounds recommended by the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine developed pursuant to an agreement between the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering and the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine may provide written notification to the division that it has completed research or review on a particular drug pursuant to the agreement and when the College of Veterinary Medicine has completed a final report of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the division.
History.—s. 27, ch. 92-348; s. 28, ch. 93-120; s. 5, ch. 93-123; s. 1, ch. 95-205; s. 9, ch. 96-364; s. 344, ch. 96-406; s. 1174, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 2002-51; s. 5, ch. 2009-69; s. 11, ch. 2009-170; ss. 4, 5, ch. 2010-29; s. 1, ch. 2015-88.