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Nov 15, 2013 12:41 AM by Sam Salzwedel

City not enforcing ban on greyhound steroid injection

SOUTH TUCSON - The city is no longer enforcing a voter-approved ban on injecting dogs with steroids at Tucson Greyhound Park.

Voters in the City of South Tucson approved the measure in 2008.

In September, the Arizona Department of Racing sent officials a letter stating the city was not allowed to enforce the law.

In October, the city's attorney advised the council to follow the order to avoid breaking state law. The council voted unanimously to take the attorney's advice.

Susan Via owns 3 greyhounds and said 2 were adopted from the track.

"You can't just have some unelected bureaucrat send a letter," she said, "and say, after 5 years of this being on the books, 'By the way it's interfering with our regulation.' How?"

Female greyhounds are injected with steroids to prevent them from going in heat, which prevents them from racing. The drugs also have some performance enhancing effects, according to Via.

"You do not give young female mammals male hormones on a continuous basis for years," she said. "The rejection of this horrible practice, harmful practice, is universal."

She does not think Tucson Greyhound Park nor state regulators care about the animals' welfare.

"I think it's more likely the track appealed to the Department of Racing and said, 'We need help here. Lean on the City of South Tucson to make them get rid of this,'" Via said.

Officials from the City of South Tucson, the Department of Racing and the Greyhound Park were unable to talk on camera in time for this report.

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