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House Bill 34

House Bill 34

Phil Haunschild
January 24, 2017

Bill Description: This provides an exemption from current law, allowing dog racing at county fairs, providing no betting takes place.

Rating: 0

Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law?

The state of Idaho has one of the most rigorous laws in the country prohibiting dog racing. Section 54-2514 of the Idaho Code, says, “live dog races and pari-mutuel betting on such races or the training of dogs to compete in live dog races shall be illegal in the state of Idaho.” Many other states have prohibitions against greyhound racing or against betting on the races. The Idaho Code clearly states that any form of dog racing, including betting or not, is illegal.

This bill would create an exemption for counties to race dogs for entertainment at their annual fairs. This kind of dog racing is normally under the authority of local government, with individuals entirely prohibited from participating in any way. This is a double standard favoring special interest groups who profit from greyhound racing at these fairs. Betting on these races remains illegal, but dog owners and trainers and managers of county fairs still profit from this small industry. This bill does not grant the same right to other groups or individuals who wish to offer the same kind of entertainment.  (-1)

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes? 

Dog racing is currently a felony in the state of Idaho. This bill would allow for dog racing in one kind of setting with no gambling. With one of the most expansive laws prohibiting these races, Idaho would make an exception for dog racing purely as entertainment. A popular radio station in the Treasure Valley was forced to cancel a small dog race the station promised to be humane for fear of the felony charge. This bill would remove the threat of arrest for similar events for entertainment purposes at county fairs. (+1)


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