BATON ROUGE – An appeals court today threw out a ruling the state couldn’t issue any new large animal permits to Tiger Truck Stop, whose big cat has been the center of big controversy among animal rights groups.
The decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling from District Judge Mike Caldwell this past May. He ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit group that sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to stop issuing the permits.
The Tiger Truck Stop and its owner, Mike Sandlin, were not part of the proceedings, which is why the 1st Circuit said they overturned the motion. They also vacated Caldwell’s order for a permanent injunction and sent it back to the District Court for further proceedings.
The Truck Stop’s 550-pound tiger named “Tony” has drawn criticism from animal rights groups like the ALDF, who believe the fumes, inadequate enclosure and stream of visitors are detrimental to the tiger’s health.
A date for a new trial had not been set yet.