South Tucson ordinance aimed to protect greyhounds catches heat - Tucson News Now

South Tucson ordinance aimed to protect greyhounds catches heat from the state

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SOUTH TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Five years after voters spoke out about dog racing in South Tucson, the state has sent the city a letter to say that it and its voters overstepped their authority.

Part of the letter said:

"(Arizona Department of Racing) believes that this law interferes with its power and authority to regulate the industry and the property on which the races are conducted..."

Back in 2008 South Tucson voters approved the Tucson Dog Initiative, which is an ordinance that prohibits injecting greyhounds with anabolic steroids.  Dog advocates have said the drugs harm the dogs while racing advocates have said that the drugs keep the dogs out of heat and prevents fights in the kennels.

Tucson passed a similar ordinance when council members believed that the dogs were being taken there to do the injections and get around the law.

But the state does not outlaw the use of the drugs.  Right now only South Tucson is getting the notice, and the South Tucson council will discuss it at their meeting Wednesday.

"I'm sure that the council will respect the vote of the electorate.  However, there may be some other discussion as to what the city might want to do regarding clarifying its position as to whether or not that particular law is enforceable by the city of South Tucson or not," said South Tucson city manager Luis Gonzales.

The city attorney will likely present some options with action at a later meeting.  Tucson Greyhound Park general manager Tony Fasulo said that the track is still following the ordinance until they have direction otherwise.

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