CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – The future of greyhound racing in the Mountain State is in question as a state lawmaker says it’s time West Virginia get rid of the sport.
“Who in their right mind would take money from education, health-care, roads or anything else to pay for subsidizing greyhound racing – it’s a poor utilization of state taxpayer dollars,” says Senate President Mitch Carmichael.
Those dollars subsidize the two greyhound racing tracks in West Virginia – one of them is in Kanawha County. While Carmichael says cutting greyhound racing will save the state money, lawmakers on the other side say it will leave 1,700 people statewide without a job and take away from growing revenue.
“So we are going to eliminate an entire career progression for people who have chosen to make West Virginia their home,” says Delegate Shawn Fluharty.
Officials from the West Virginia Kennel Owner’s Association deny the accusations that the whole program is inhumane.
“We are animal lovers – it’s all about money it has nothing to do with animal abuse. If there is so much cruelty or animal abuse, how come there are no prosecutions,” says Steve Serras, West Virginia Kennel Owner’s Association President.
This is the second time Carmichael has pushed for legislation banning greyhound racing. Two years ago, Governor Jim Justice vetoed the bill.