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Massachusetts Dog Racing Prohibition Initiative, Question 3 (2000)

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The Massachusetts Dog Racing Prohibition Initiative, also known as Question 3, was on the November 7, 2000 election ballot in Massachusetts as an initiated state statute. It was defeated.

The initiative proposed a law that would prohibit dog races where betting or wagering occurs.

Election results

Question 3 (Dog Racing Prohibition)
Defeatedd No1,328,37448.59%
Yes 1,276,708 46.70%

Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Text of measure

Ballot Question

The question on the ballot was:

Do you approve of a law summarized below, on which no vote was taken by the Senate or the House of Representatives before May 3, 2000?

A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws governing dog racing.

A YES VOTE would prohibit dog races where betting or wagering occurs.[1][2]


The official ballot summary for Question 3 was:

The proposed law would prohibit in Massachusetts any dog racing or racing meeting where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occur. The State Racing Commission would be prohibited from accepting or approving any application or request for racing dates for dog racing. Any person violating the proposed law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000 to the State Racing Commission to be used for the Commission's administrative purposes, subject to appropriation by the state legislature.>

All previous provisions of the part of the state's General Laws concerning dog and horse racing meetings would be interpreted as not applying to anything dog-related.

The proposed law stated that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the rest of the law would stay in effect.[1][2]

Full text

The full text of the legislation proposed by Question 3 is available here.

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The initiative was sponsored by GREY2K and garnered support from the Animal Rescue League, the MSPCA and other animal protection groups. GREY2K argued that the proposed law would:

  • Stop the killing of thousands of greyhounds each year, citing that the greyhound racing industry admits to euthanizing dogs when they stop turning a profit.
  • Stop tax dollars from subsidizing the declining greyhound racing industry.
  • Stop inhumane treatment of racing greyhounds, who GREY2K claims are locked in crates up to 22 hours every day and subjected to "inhumane conditions that no one would tolerate for their own dog."


The initiative was opposed by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Greyhound Council. They argued that the proposed law would force Massachusetts' two greyhound racetracks to close, "destroy[ing] a 65-year-old industry" and leaving thousands unemployed. They also claimed the law would deprive Massachusetts of a substantial source of revenue through parimutuel taxes.

They also argued that Massachusetts' greyhound racing industry had an "excellent record" with no documented violations against Massachusetts' strict animal welfare regulations, and that the passing of the proposed law would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to the elimination of other animal industries such as livestock and fishing.

2008 ballot measure

GREY2K, along with The Committee to Protect Dogs, sponsored a similar initiative for 2008, which was approved.

See also

External links

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