Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 21, 2013

W.Va. Racing Commission OKs animal cruelty policy

CHARLESTON — The state Racing Commission has approved a policy on cruelty toward greyhounds or thoroughbred horses.

The commission unanimously approved the policy Tuesday, turning aside changes proposed by the West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association.

Under state code, the commission already has the power to punish trainers, breeders and owners involved in acts of cruelty. The policy outlines that and other actions the commission can take.

According to the policy, the commission will report any instances of animal cruelty, mistreatment, neglect, abuse or abandonment to local law enforcement.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports the commission’s only change to the proposed policy was removing the words “for possible criminal prosecution” in connection to referrals.

Commission attorney Kelli Talbot said state law doesn’t define cruelty and she didn’t see the need to define it in the policy.

Greyhound association President Sam Burdette said physical action is a necessary tool at times when training greyhounds in a group to resolve a potentially dangerous situation.

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