Archive for the ‘Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act’ Tag

Reminder and Tweets For Wig It Up Wednesday Feb. 12th!   Leave a comment

shortyWe hope that everyone who tweets joins us tomorrow ~ Wednesday February 12th ~ for a special “Wig It Up” Wednesday. Tony’s Twitter friends @JeffMusk and @cafrindorrell have organized tomorrow’s event to raise awareness for Tony and captive tigers in the United States as well as Tony’s Shorty Awards nomination.

See our previous post for more information: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/february-12-wig-it-up-wednesday-to-raise-awareness-for-captive-tigers/ and Jeff’s post: http://jeffnmom.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/february-wigitup-schedule/

We thought it would a great idea to provide some tweets that you’re welcome to copy and paste for tomorrow. They include facts about Tony, videos about the captive tiger situation, Tony’s Shorty Award nomination, and how you can support a very important bill “The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act.” There are also graphics you can use to add to your tweets when you scroll past the tweets below – adding more to this post shortly. Please use the hashtags #WigItUp & #FreeTonyTiger – who knows, maybe we’ll trend!

Keeping Tony’s story and that of the captive tiger/big cat crisis is vital and we’re looking forward to a successful event tomorrow. Thanks again for everyone’s continued support of Tony.

Tweets For Wig It Up Wednesday – February 12th, 2014

We Love Tony! @TonyTiger2000 || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

@TonyTiger2000 deserves a proper home @ a reputable big cat sanctuary! #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Let Tony @TonyTiger2000 Hear Our ROARS! #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

ROAR FOR @TonyTiger2000 & Captive #Tigers!! https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/reminder-and-tweets-for-wig-it-up-wednesday-feb-12th/ || #WigItUp Going on NOW!! #FreeTonyTiger

#Tiger kept ILLEGALLY as a roadside attraction @ #Louisiana truck stop http://www.aldf.org/tony ~ #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Petition: @LDWF: Enforce Louisiana Law! Ensure Tony Is Released 2 Reputable Sanctuary http://ow.ly/h818P || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

WATCH @TonyTiger2000’s @shortyawards campaign video http://youtu.be/LXzUpMhCQWA & VOTE!! || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Nominate @TonyTiger2000 4 a @ShortyAwards: http://shortyawards.com/TonyTiger2000?category=nonhuman Help Raise Awareness 4 Captive #Tigers! || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Tweet & Add a Reason after Because: I nominate @TonyTiger2000 for a Shorty Award in #nonhuman because… || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

With just 1 Tweet YOU Can ROAR 4 @TonyTiger2000 & Captive #Tigers! Vote Here: http://shortyawards.com/TonyTiger2000?category=nonhuman

Learn more about @TonyTiger2000’s nomination: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/shorty-awards-update/ || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Did you know @TonyTiger2000 was featured in the @NYTimes?!
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/us/truck-stop-tiger-in-louisiana-stirs-legal-battle.html?_r=0 || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Great pictures of @TonyTiger2000 via his good friend @puppyprotector1 ~ https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/new-pictures-of-tony-jan-19-2014-via-puppyprotector1/ || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Say hello 2 @TonyTiger2000’s beautiful tweetheart @LucyLiberte & support her petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/allow-a-panel-of-external-elephant-experts-to-examine-lucy || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Meet @TonyTiger2000 ‘s bestest #LittleBuddy ~ @IAmSmittyKitty ~ a pawsome furiend to ALL #anipals! || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Two of @TonyTiger2000’s warriors @danapixie & @HRHDuchessII – rocking the @shortyawards with their tweets! || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Join @TonyTiger2000′s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FreeTonyTheTiger || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Get Social with @TonyTiger2000 on @Instagram: http://instagram.com/tonythetruckstoptiger# || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Get Social with @TonyTiger2000 on @Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeTonyTheTiger || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Check out @TonyTiger2000’s WordPress blog: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/ || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

@TonyTiger2000 is 1 of the est. 5,000+ privately owned tigers in U.S. Appx. 3,200 tigers left in the wild || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

#Tigers Don’t Belong @ Truck Stops!! @TonyTiger2000 || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

In 2003, 3 #tigers taken from Tiger Truck Stop – @TonyTiger2000 left behind https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/tony-left-behind-in-2003/ || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

@ALDF is commited 2 @TonyTiger2000’s release 2 a reputable sanctuary! WATCH: http://ow.ly/h8R5v || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

True Blood’s @BauerVanStraten Speaks Out 4 @TonyTiger2000 http://ow.ly/h8RKy || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

2006 #Louisiana state law prohibits private ownership of #tigers! http://ow.ly/h8SG0 || #FreeTonyTiger ‏~ #WigItUp

Learn more about Big Cats & Public Safety Protection Act!! http://ow.ly/hlSJ8 #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Watch @BigCatRescue’s #tiger Zabu in their 2.5 acre Vacation Rotation! http://youtu.be/bPfVabAabvg || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Est.10,000 big cats kept in U.S. by private owners. http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/our-work/tigers/big-cats-captivity || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

WATCH: Baby #Tigers To Go http://youtu.be/981UV8r-SkQ Cubs used in Pay4Play &photo ops! || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

WATCH: CUTE TIGER CUBS – Robbed from the Cradle! http://youtu.be/_cS5wINA53g || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

WATCH: #Tigers in the U.S. http://youtu.be/n80OuEA2f3w & learn more about the serious issue of captive tigers #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

WATCH: Backyard #Tigers of America http://youtu.be/yLeXQQaBkDg In some states it’s legal to own big cats as pets! #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Did you know that there are more #tigers in American backyards than left in the wild? http://youtu.be/52XvqIBBNgo || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

@WCSanctuary is one big cat sanctuary that has offered a home 4 @TonyTiger2000 http://youtu.be/V6UtFxZegKs || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

No More Wild Pets! #Tiger Exotic Pet PSA http://youtu.be/iL8LNy6up9Q via @wcsanctuary | #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

@BigCatRescue has also offered @TonyTiger2000 a home http://youtu.be/6nOZ8lcJC5s || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Can you imagine @TonyTiger2000 “On Vacation”? WATCH TJ #Tiger of @BigCatRescue ~ http://youtu.be/4Byq7jqArU0 || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Tell the Senate to protect people & big cats! http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/tell-congress-protect-people-and-big-cats-senate || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Tell the House to protect people and big cats! http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/tell-congress-protect-people-and-big-cats || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Is it legal to keep a #tiger as a backyard pet? WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80EwloYo7-8 via @ALDF || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Help Captive Big Cats in the U.S. http://www.ad-international.org/conservation/go.php?id=3496&ssi=14 via @AnimalDefenders || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

The Most Important Bill Ever to Protect Big Cats from Abuse! https://www.votervoice.net/BCR/Campaigns/30111/Respond || #FreeTonyTiger ~ #WigItUp

Love & Thanks @JeffMusk & @cafrindorrell 4 organizing this special #WigItUp Wednesday 2 raise awareness 4 @TonyTiger2000 & captive #tigers!

Graphics:

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ROAR TIGER POSTER 1998

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TTS VS SANC

Petition Reaches 30K, Randall Tweets For Tony, Take Action For Big Cats   Leave a comment

tony gw 6

  • Help Big Cats! Here are some important ways you can help big cats in captivity like Tony. Please Take Action at the following links courtesy of Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL:

The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act has been reintroduced as HR 1998 in the House and S 1381 in the Senate. Please ask your member of Congress to sign on as a co-sponsor this bill!
https://www.votervoice.net/BCR/Campaigns/30111/Respond

Ask USDA to Ban Cub Handling
https://www.votervoice.net/BCR/Campaigns/33158/Respond

  • Keep Tony’s Story Networked ~ Share, Tweet, Follow!!

Join Tony on Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/FreeTonyTheTiger

Free Tony The Tiger On WordPress: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/

Tony’s Story: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/tonys-story/

Follow Tony On Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#!/FreeTonyTiger

http://twitter.com/#!/TonyTiger2000

Tony on Instagram: http://instagram.com/tonythetruckstoptiger/#

Tony on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/tonytiger2000/

Tony On Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeTonyTheTiger

ALDF Page For Tony: http://www.aldf.org/tonybill of rights

ALDF Articles:

http://aldf.org/blog/making-sense-of-the-current-status-of-the-tony-the-tiger-cases/

http://aldf.org/blog/victory-in-aldfs-tony-the-tiger-case/

  • Recent Pictures & Videos of Tony Appreciated! If you visit Tony please document your visit with pictures and/or videos and share them with us. Send your pictures and Youtube video links to roar4tony@yahoo.com so we can share them on social networking sites and continue to raise awareness and support for Tony.
  • “Don’t Be Stupid!” Tigers Don’t Belong At Truck Stops! Twitter has been a great platform for Tony with both the @FreeTonyTiger and @TonyTiger2000 accounts gathering many supporters and friends. “Tony” recently got RTs and Tweets from Randall, the colorful narrator of the viral video “Honey Badger Don’t Care.”

Thanks again to ALL of Tony’s Friends for your continued support!!

Senate Bill Introduced for Big Cats & Public Safety Protection Act!   2 comments

Please reacaptived this press release from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and take action at the two links below:

Tell Congress to protect people and big cats! HR 1998

http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/tell-congress-protect-people-and-big-cats

Tell the Senate to protect people and big cats! S 1381

http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/tell-congress-protect-people-and-big-cats-senate

IFAW Gains Senate Support for the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) today introduced (S.1381) the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. Initiated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and supported by a coalition of animal welfare groups, the bill aims at banning private possession and breeding of tigers, lions, and other captive big cats in the United States. The House version of the bill (H.R. 1998) was introduced earlier this year by U.S. Representatives Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

Current state laws addressing keeping big cats as pets widely fluctuate, with some states banning the practice while exempting a host of USDA exhibitors, and others with partial to no restrictions at all. The bill would establish a single, nationwide policy against the captive big cat pet and roadside zoo trade, while requiring current owners to register their big cats.

“The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act is a common-sense solution to a situation that has spiraled out of control,” Senator Blumenthal said. “Thousands of dangerous big cats are kept in deplorable conditions as backyard pets and in roadside zoos across the nation. This bill would alleviate the threat these animals pose to the general public.”

Congress first introduced the bill in light of the tragedy in Zanesville, Ohio and many others preceding it. In Zanesville, an exotic animal owner released 38 big cats and 18 other dangerous animals and then took his own life. To protect the surrounding community, first responders, who were neither trained nor properly equipped to handle a situation of that magnitude, were forced to shoot and kill nearly all of the animals.

IFAW Campaigns Officer Tracy Coppola notes, “Apart from the serious animal welfare aspects of this issue, we must not forget that it poses a massive burden on the first responders who often find themselves at the forefront of dealing with the dangers that captive big cats pose when kept in private hands across America.”

IFAW’s big cats database (www.ifaw.org/bigcatadvocates) shows that since 1997, incidents involving these captive animals have resulted in 22 human deaths, including five children. Meanwhile, over 200 people have been mauled or injured and scores of big cats have been killed

In addition to the human and animal fatalities, private ownership and breeding of big cats also undermines wildlife conservation because it can contribute to illegal international wildlife trade. There is currently no way to know how many U.S.-born big cats are disposed of or when their parts are illegally sold into the black market.

The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act now heads to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. IFAW is calling on citizens, including all first responders, to urge their Senators to co-sponsor the bill today.

More information is available at www.ifaw.org/bigcatadvocates.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats.

Follow IFAW on Facebook and Twitter

http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/news/ifaw-gains-senate-support-big-cats-and-public-safety-protection-act

Tony’s Petition Reaches 17,900   Leave a comment

As we still await word on the August 6, 2012 hearing, let’s continue to keep Tony’s story active by supporting his change.org petition.
We’re only 100 signatures away from 18,000 –  a true indication of the concern and love people have worldwide for Tony.

If you haven’t signed, please add your support for Tony’s release to a reputable sanctuary here: http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary and share the link.

Petitions are an effective  platform to gain support and let the public know, despite two rulings in Tony’s favor, he remains at the truck stop. Read more about Tony’s case from The Animal Legal Defense Fund: Making Sense of the Current Status of the Tony the Tiger Cases

Thanks again to ALL of Tony’s friends for your support and dedication to him.

Please also take a moment to help big cats in the United States by asking your Congress Member to support H.R.4122 – The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. This bill would prohibit private possession of big cats except at highly-qualified facilities like accredited zoos where they can be properly cared for and safely managed.

Take Action At These Links:

  • Enter your zip code at Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL’s Action Alert for a fast easy way to voice your support of this bill and ask your congressperson to co-sponsor it:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/bills/?bill=61054001

  • The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Action Alert for H.R. 4122:

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=10989

  • IFAW’s  (International Fund For Animal Welfare) Action Alert

http://www.ifaw.org/us/get-involved/protect-big-cats-cruelty

  • You can also sign this petition: Tell Congress: Big Cats are NOT Pets!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/841/285/240/

  • and show your support for H.R. 4122 at PopVox:

https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr4122

ALDF: Strengthen Federal Law to Protect Big Cats   Leave a comment

Click the tiger’s picture to help big cats like Tony!

Please take action for big cats via this alert from The Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Via ALDF:

Many big cats such as Tony the truck stop tiger languish in deplorable conditions with no hope of freedom. Join us in urging Congressional representatives to support a new law to protect big cats from a similar fate.

Protect big cats and public safety!

In October 2011, sheriff’s deputies in Zanesville, Ohio responded to calls about a loose African lion and bear sighted by neighbors of an exotic animal “farm.” Officers soon discovered that the farm’s owner, Terry Thompson, had intentionally released over 50 exotic animals from his farm and then committed suicide. In the name of public safety, the deputies tracked down and shot the released animals. At the conclusion of the massacre, the pile of carcasses included 18 tigers, 17 African lions, and three mountain lions, as well as bears, wolves, and a baboon. Thompson had previous convictions for cruelty to animals and possession of illegal firearms.

This tragedy highlights the critical need for laws to prohibit possession of wild and exotic animals as “pets.” Among the problems caused by the wild animal trade:

  • In the U.S., an estimated 10,000 – 20,000 big cats are currently in private hands, causing significant public safety concerns by endangering neighbors — including children and pets — as well as officers who act as first responders.
  • The animals are frequently victims of neglect, living in deplorable conditions. Additionally, some captors might use the animals for illegal international trade in their parts.
  • Taxpayers and local agencies bear a high financial burden when dangerous animals escape or when they are seized due to cruelty and neglect.

The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 4122) would help stem the exotic “pet” trade by strengthening provisions in federal law by prohibiting future breeding, possessing, or owning of lions, tigers, and other big cats. The bill also would require people who currently possess big cats to register those animals with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This bill amends the Lacey Act, which already provides exemptions for government agencies and wildlife sanctuaries. H.R. 4122 adds an exemption for accredited zoos, too.

Take Action!

Urge your Congressional representative to support the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act to protect people and animals by completing the information to the right! H.R. 4122 has bipartisan support, but it is languishing in a subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Please take action today!

Visit: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=10989

From IFAW: The Sad Tale of Tony the “Truck Stop Tiger”   Leave a comment

Tony the truck stop tiger still waits in his cage
Photo credit:
Animal Legal Defense Fund

By Jeffrey Flocken

Posted Mon, 05/14/2012

Here’s a report from Gina Miller, IFAW’s legal policy analyst, about a captive tiger in Louisiana:

Laws that govern the private ownership of big cats vary widely from one state to another but they do have one thing in common—they’re not enough to protect big cats in private hands. Some 10,000 to 20,000 big cats are kept captive by private owners in the U.S., and they aren’t in zoos but in backyards, basements, garages, sheds and even truck stops.

Yes, you read that correctly: It is legal to keep a tiger at a truck stop.

Tony, a 10 year old Siberian-Bengal tiger, has been kept every single day of his life at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. Living at a truck stop is no life for a tiger; Tony is subjected to noise and diesel fumes from trucks and kept in a concrete cage with no adequate enrichment or escape from the elements, resulting in constant stress. Ten years of living at Tiger Truck Stop have taken a toll on Tony’s health, according to experts.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham granted a permit allowing for Tony the tiger to be exhibited at the truck stop in Louisiana. After the state permit was issued, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit arguing that LDWF violated state legislation prohibiting persons from keeping a tiger as a pet or exhibiting a tiger within the state, but those that owned big cats legally before this law was passed were able to keep their animals.

Here’s the issue: Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, didn’t legally own him because his town’s ordinance made it illegal to keep a tiger on his premises.

The good news is that Tony’s permit expired in December of 2011 and hasn’t been renewed. The bad news is Tony is still being kept at the truck stop in violation of Louisiana law because the judge ruled that the Department has discretion whether or not to enforce Louisiana’s law on big cats. This “discretion” is allowing Tony the tiger to languish at a truck stop.

But Tony will have another day in court. Tony’s owner sued the State of Louisiana claiming that the law against private ownership of big cats was unconstitutional. Advocates for Tony’s health and safety will have the chance to support Louisiana’s authority to protect the public and the welfare of animals like Tony.

There is no reason that Tony or big cats like him should be left to suffer at truck stops due to squabbles over state laws and poor enforcement. As evidenced by Tony’s plight and the tragic Zanesville massacre, a nationwide solution like the Federal Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, H.R. 4122, is needed. Please urge your U.S. Representative to support the passage H.R. 4122 and protect tigers like Tony!

http://www.ifaw.org/us/news/sad-tale-tony-%E2%80%9Ctruck-stop-tiger%E2%80%9D

More from The Animal Legal Defense Fund on the May 7, 2012 Hearing   Leave a comment

From The Animal Legal Defense Fund:

May 7, 2012: In today’s hearing in Baton Rouge, District Judge Janice Clark agreed that the Animal Legal Defense Fund and two Louisiana residents can be parties to the lawsuit filed by Michael Sandlin, owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop, against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). ALDF and the other interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats. Thanks to today’s ruling, ALDF will now have a right to participate in all steps of the litigation as it moves forward.

In their case, Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop are suing the state, arguing that Louisiana’s ban on private ownership of big cats like Tony is unconstitutional—flying in the face of the current national sentiment that dangerous exotic animals should be more strictly regulated. Ohio is currently considering a bill that would ban new ownership of captive wild animals, following the massacre of 48 animals including lions, tigers, and bears, who were released by their Zanesville owner last October. Additionally, in February, a bipartisan bill—the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act”—was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit the breeding and private possession of captive big cats. ALDF’s intervention in Sandlin’s case will support Louisiana’s power to safeguard public safety and the welfare of animals like Tony through such legislative measures.

http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=2023

 

Please continue to support Tony by signing and sharing his petitions:

  • Change.org Petition For Tony  – January 16, 2012  

http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

  • Care2 Petition For Tony Is Still Open (Over 50,000 Signatures)

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/129/272/008/ 

ALDF Back in Court Demanding State Take Action on Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, Now Exhibited Without a Permit   Leave a comment

From The Animal Legal Defense Fund:

April 5th, 2012

After Baton Rouge Court’s Ruling Revoking Invalid Permit, ALDF Files Lawsuit Demanding Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Put an End to Owner’s Illegal Possession of the Big Cat

For immediate release

Contact:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Baton Rouge, La. – This morning, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to do its job of enforcing Louisiana’s big cat ban in the case of Tony, Grosse Tete’s “truck stop tiger.” Michael Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony, an eleven-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, expired in December, yet he has continued to keep Tony confined at the Tiger Truck Stop, in open violation of state law. ALDF’s lawsuit would compel the Department to take steps to enforce the law and report Sandlin’s illegal possession of Tony to local law enforcement for prosecution. In addition, ALDF, along with two Louisiana residents, today filed a petition to intervene in Sandlin’s current lawsuit against the state; the interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bono assistance with the lawsuit and the petition to intervene.

In November 2011, the East Baton Rouge District Court granted ALDF’s request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, ordering the Department to revoke the permit that allowed Sandlin to display Tony as a roadside exhibit at the truck stop where he has languished for over a decade. Despite the fact that Sandlin’s permit expired in December and cannot be renewed, he continues to display Tony, in violation of the big cat law, which the Department is responsible for enforcing.

“The state of Louisiana has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to enforce them” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The court has already granted Tony and ALDF a victory by ruling that Michael Sandlin’s permit to display Tony was illegal. Sandlin, now without a permit, cannot be allowed to continue to exploit this tiger with impunity.”

Meanwhile, Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop are suing the state, arguing that Louisiana’s ban on private ownership of big cats like Tony is unconstitutional—flying in the face of the current national sentiment that dangerous exotic animals should be more strictly regulated. Ohio is currently considering a bill that would ban new ownership of captive wild animals, following the massacre of 48 animals including lions, tigers, and bears, who were released by their Zanesville owner last October. Additionally, in February, a bipartisan bill—the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act”—was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit the breeding and private possession of captive big cats. ALDF’s petition in intervention supports Louisiana’s power to safeguard public safety and animal welfare through such legislative measures.

http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=2023

FTTT Note: Please support Tony’s petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

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