Archive for the ‘SB 250’ Tag

James Gill: Bill just a favor to local business via @theadvocateno   Leave a comment

Click on picture to go to video.

Click on picture to go to video.

Advocate story
June 05, 2014

Opinions in the legislature were divided over whether a 550-pound Bengal tiger can find happiness living alone in a cage outside a truck stop in Grosse Tete.

No wonder Louisiana is in a pickle. A question that could not be regarded as worth debating in rational circles ate up hour after hour as the session neared its end. If legislators really wanted to know what Tony the Tiger thinks of his current accommodations, they needed only to imagine how they would like living in a cage, or in Grosse Tete or outside a truck stop, let alone all three.

Perhaps you think it a colossal waste of time even to consider a bill exempting truck stop owner Michael Sandlin from a law that bans the “private possession of big exotic cats.” If so, you are not cut out to be a legislator. The bill, after passing the Senate and stirring lengthy and heated exchanges in committee, took up an hour on the House floor, where the state’s $25 billion budget had just zipped through in less than five minutes. Members were reserving their mental powers for the Tony issue.

Naturally, they got it wrong. Any bill intended solely as a favor to an individual business is a perversion of the legislative process, but this one was on its way to Gov. Bobby Jindal after legislators accepted the absurd proposition that it would be an unkindness to release Tony to a huge and remote sanctuary.

Proponents of the bill claimed that animal rights extremists from California were behind the push to wrest Tony away from his tender-hearted owner. If Tony goes, they warned, LSU’s mascot, Mike the Tiger, will be next. It will be only a matter of time, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, warned in committee, before they come after our hunting dogs. Overheated imaginations are common in the Capitol.

Animal League Defense Fund representatives were there in opposition to the bill in committee, making it easier for the good ole boys to call for a united front against meddlesome outsiders. They’ve got some nerve coming down here and asking us to obey our own laws.

The law against private possession of big cats passed the House and Senate unanimously in 2006, and state courts have ordered Tony relocated. Sandlin bought time by filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ban, but evidently decided he had a better chance of success in the long run by pre-empting the justice system and getting his friends in Baton Rouge to carve out an exemption.

LSU has had one for Mike since the law was passed. Zoos and wildlife centers were also included on a list of exemptions, to which Ward’s bill added “persons who continuously possessed their animal” since 2006. Thus, though this bill was strictly for Sandlin’s benefit, all long-time owners of lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards and cheetahs are now welcome in Louisiana. If a big cat ever escapes, let us hope it takes refuge in the Capitol grounds.

Sandlin’s family has owned gas stations here and in Texas for many years, exhibiting a succession of tigers to pack the crowds in. It has evidently worked, for Sandlin, by his own account, can afford to spend huge sums on creature comforts and veterinary care. He sees himself as contributing to the preservation of endangered species. He and supporters argue transferring Tony to a sanctuary would be traumatic or even fatal.

At the committee hearing, the Animal Legal Defense Fund wheeled out Pat Craig, director of the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, which, one committee member noted, looked from a photograph like the Serengeti Plain. Tigers may have no ancestral affinity for the African landscape either, but we may take it for granted that roaming the sanctuary’s wide expanses would suit a tiger better than breathing in diesel fumes by the I-10 exit ramp. Craig said no cat had ever suffered ill effects from being transported to his place, and Tony would be welcome.

Sandlin, though he says he is devoted to Tony’s welfare, has been frequently cited by the United States Department of Agriculture for neglecting it. Since nobody is at the truck stop overnight, Tony’s current situation also presents an obvious risk to public safety.

If legislators want to do Sandlin a favor, they should just say so and not claim a tiger is better off in a cage. That can only leave us with the uneasy suspicion that they are dumb enough to believe it.

http://theadvocate.com/columnists/9354782-55/james-gill-bill-just-a

Contact Gov. @BobbyJindal ~ Veto SB 250!!   3 comments

free tony aldf jindal

Here is a list of contact information for Gov. Bobby Jindal. PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW for Tony and ask Gov. Jindal to VETO SB 250. Please keep letters, emails, phone calls, etc. on point and polite.

Ways to contact Governor Bobby Jindal and ask him to VETO SB 250:

Action Alert via Animal Legal Defense Fund: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5154/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17679

Action Alert For Louisiana Residents ONLY via Born Free USA:https://secure3.convio.net/bfusa/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=885

Action Alert via Peta: http://ow.ly/xIy5Y

Website Online Contact Form: http://www.gov.la.gov/index.cfm?md=form&tmp=email_governor (Louisiana is listed as default in “State” just type over with your state)

Phone: 225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121 (Toll Free)

Fax: 225-342-7099

Twitter: @BobbyJindal

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bobbyjindal

Click on Message and a box will pop up to write your message

FB JINDAL

Direct email: bobby.jindal@la.gov (Tried and has not bounced back – please report if it does in a comment)

Physical Address:

Governor Bobby Jindal
Office of the Governor
PO Box 94004,
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Sign these two Change.org Petitions:

@BobbyJindal VETO SB 250!!

http://www.change.org/petitions/gov-bobby-jindal-bobbyjindal-veto-sb-250

LDWF: Enforce Louisiana State Law & Ensure Tony The Tiger Is Released To A Reputable Sanctuary:

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

Sign this Care2 Petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/589/086/506/last-chance-to-help-tony-the-tiger/

Please share this post with share buttons below & KEEP ROARING FOR TONY!

Protect Tigers from Inhumane Captivity via @ALDF   Leave a comment

In May of 2014 SB 250 passed the Louisiana State Senate and House. The bill would create additional exemptions for big cat owners in Louisiana. The bill now goes to the Governor for consideration. Take action now to ask Governor Bobby Jindal to veto this dangerous bill!

If it passes, SB 250 would create a “retroactive exemption” to Louisiana’s ban on possessing dangerous wild animals. Specifically, it would allow Tony the Tiger to remain caged as a truck-stop curiosity where he is subjected to noise and diesel fumes 24-hours a day.

ALDF is on the ground in Louisiana fighting this bill, and we visited Tony the Tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete in May of 2014. Here is the video we recorded:

As Louisiana supporters already know, this bill was designed to appease Michael Sandlin, whose captivity of Tony the Tiger was declared illegal by the Louisiana Court of Appeals in ALDF’s successful lawsuit. Sandlin has been repeatedly sanctioned by the USDA for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Louisiana law rightfully bans private ownership of tigers and other dangerous wild animals. There are a few exemptions, but the law itself is clear. ALDF opposes the possession of big cats because it is inhumane to the animals kept captive, and dangerous to people. Exemptions to the ban on dangerous wild animals waste the state’s resources and put animals in harm’s way simply to accommodate those who want to confine tigers for entertainment or profit.

Take Action!

This outrageous “exemption” bill passed the Louisiana House and Senate. We need to pull out all of the stops—so we are asking everyone to contact the governor right now to tell him that you strongly oppose any exemptions to animal protection laws.

tony-the-tiger-copyright-JS-2014

The Governor needs to hear from you! Please send him a message, urging him to veto SB 250. Join our fight against attempts to subvert animal protection laws in Louisiana. You can simply say, “Hello. I am concerned about the welfare of captive tigers in Louisiana. I would like you to veto SB 250.”

Take Action Button

For those who are out of state, please join us in sharing this news on social media, so that we can reach more people!

http://aldf.org/cases-campaigns/action-alerts/protect-tigers-from-inhumane-captivity/

Louisiana House Passes Bill to Keep Tony the Tiger Captive via @ALDF   Leave a comment

Posted on May 30, 2014

For immediate release:

Contact:
Megan Backus, ALDF

tony-the-tiger-copyright-JS-2014

On May 30, 2014 the Louisiana House passed SB 250, a bill that subverts the intent of a 2006 state law prohibiting the importation and possession of big exotic cats. That dangerous wild animal ban was introduced by Rep. Warren Triche specifically with Tony the tiger’s deplorable captivity in mind, and passed unanimously in the Louisiana legislature. However, this new bill, SB 250, carves out a retroactive exemption to place Michael Sandlin above the law that applies to all other Louisiana citizens, and thus imposes a life sentence of caged solitary confinement upon Tony. It further could open the door to Louisiana becoming a safe haven for unscrupulous owners to bring exotic animals from other states.

SB 250 also directly overturns a judicial decision made by the Louisiana Court of Appeal in ALDF’s victorious lawsuit. We have worked long and hard to free Tony the Tiger from life at a truck stop and send him to a reputable sanctuary. The Wild Animal Sanctuary was willing to provide this care and sanctuary for Tony, so that Tony might live out his remaining years in sanctuary rather than a gas station parking lot. The Wild Animal Sanctuary’s executive director Pat Craig, along with ALDF’s Carter Dillard and Chris Green, testified before the legislature and provided expert advice and recommendations in the best interest of Tony.

The bill has not been signed by Governor Bobby Jindal, and ALDF’s next step is to urge Governor Jindal to veto this bill and decline to set such a perilous precedent. Allowing an individual to override court decisions and violate local and state laws in order to retain possession of a dangerous wild animal invites other would-be big exotic cat owners to come forward requesting their own exemptions to state and local laws. Not only would this be a further waste of taxpayer money and a subversion of the legal system, but it would mean more animals suffering the way that Tony continues to suffer every day.

http://aldf.org/press-room/press-releases/louisiana-house-passes-bill-to-keep-tony-the-tiger-captive/

Update on SB 250 ~ May 29, 2014   Leave a comment

free tony

May 28, 2014:

Despite brilliant legal testimony from ALDF’s Carter Dillard and Chris Green on behalf of Tony, and Pat Craig of The Wild Animal Sanctuary who  provided his expertise backed with 34 years of experience with rescuing big cats, the Louisiana House Natural Resources and Environment Committee passed SB 250, Senator Rick Ward’s bill to “exempt certain persons from the requirements of the big exotic cats rules” (specifically to allow Michael Sandlin to keep Tony at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete Louisiana.) The final vote was 10 YES to 6 NO. The bill now moves to the House and is scheduled for floor debate on May 30, 2014.

sb 250 may 28 2014

Breakdown of the May 28, 2014 vote by the Louisiana House Natural Resources & Environment Committee.

 

LOUISIANA RESIDENTS: Please TAKE ACTION AGAINST SB 250. Contact your State House Representatives. Voice your OPPOSITION to this bill and ask them to vote NO on SB 250.

See this post from ALDF: http://aldf.org/cases-campaigns/action-alerts/protect-tigers-from-inhumane-captivity/ and TAKE ACTION by entering your zip here to contact your representative: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5154/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15813

Carter Dillard, Pat Craig and Chris Green provided excellent testimony against SB 250.

Carter Dillard, Pat Craig and Chris Green provided excellent testimony against SB 250.

 

We ALL can help Tony by sharing this information.

Once again THANK YOU Animal Legal Defense Fund, Chris Green, Carter Dillard, Pat Craig and EVERY ONE who is fighting for Tony and his release to a reputable sanctuary that will provide him the care, life, home and respect he deserves.

Update: SB 250 ~ May 28, 2014   Leave a comment

la seal tony update

SB 250 ( Rick Ward III‘s bill to EXEMPT Michael Sandlin from Louisiana’s Big Cat Law ) is scheduled TODAY  – WEDNESDAY MAY 28, 2014, on the Louisiana House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment agenda.

Meeting starts at 9:30amCST and is viewable here:

http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Agenda.aspx?m=16076

http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Video/WM/HseSWAGIThcr4wm.asp

Actions for Louisiana residents to speak out AGAINST SB 250 can be found here: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/how-we-can-all-help-tony/

For those of who are non-residents, please continue to share links and information in the aforementioned link via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. Thank You!

Legally Brief: @ALDF’s Case to Free Tony the Tiger   Leave a comment

Re-posting from ALDF

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF Executive Director on May 22, 2014

Legally Brief

Our campaign to free Tony the Tiger continues. What would it mean to “free” a 14 year-old Siberian-Bengal Tiger named Tony who has spent all his life in a small cage at a Louisiana truck stop? Freeing Tony would mean sending him to a reputable sanctuary, where he can finally have some peace in his lifetime and live like a tiger—rather than as a truck stop gimmick in a concrete prison pacing back and forth continuously, surrounded by noise and diesel truck exhaust. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has spent years in court fighting for Tony’s freedom. And we won—our victory was upheld by the Louisiana Court of Appeal, and the Louisiana State Supreme Court refused to revisit that decision. But Tony’s owner, having lost repeatedly in court, while continuing to display Tony illegally, has tried to sneak a bill, “SB 250,” through the Louisiana legislature that would allow him to skirt the law.

That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund works to protect animals by covering all the bases within the legal system. We work with legislatures to ensure laws reflect what’s best for animals. We work with law enforcement to ensure that these laws are actually enforced. And—in addition to our highly successful animal law education initiatives, with hundreds of student ALDF chapters in the top law schools in the land—when individuals violate the law, like Tony’s owner, we file suit and take them to court.

The Louisiana legislature is now considering “SB 250,” which, if passed, could essentially undo every victory ALDF has achieved for Tony and relegate him to a life living in a truck stop parking lot. The bill aims to “exempt certain persons from the requirements of the big exotic cats rules.” Exempting “certain persons” (meaning Tony’s owner) would not only remove Tony’s legal protections, but it would allow an individual like Tony’s owner to undermine the judicial process. Aside from keeping Tony imprisoned, passing such a bill would send the dangerous message that if you don’t like a law, you can just hire some lobbyists to try to rewrite it—in this case Louisiana’s ban on private ownership of tigers and other exotic cats. As that law’s sponsor, representative Warren Triche, notes, it was written specifically to prevent tragic situations like Tony’s. For this tiger, and for all animals, we must make it clear that playing fast and loose with the law is unacceptable, no matter how deep your pockets or how tight your political connections.

tony-the-tiger-copyright-JS-2014

This frustrating saga shows how hard it is for animal advocates to protect animals. But long as we work together to unite all aspects of the legal system, from criminal justice to innovative litigation and legislative affairs, we will win the case against animal cruelty. It’s important that everyone stands up for animals and does their part.

Here at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, we have a strong connection to Tony’s plight, and our hearts break at the possibility that he may never get his freedom. And if this kind of sneaky, back-door affront to our legal system is allowed to continue, many other tigers may face the same fate.

Tony urgently needs your help—please take action for Tony today, and read more about his story here.

Take Action Button

http://aldf.org/blog/legally-brief-aldfs-case-to-free-tony-the-tiger/

 

Update On SB 250 ~ May 22, 2014   Leave a comment

la seal tony update

May 21, 2014: Louisiana House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment Meeting adjourned at appx. 1pmCST. SB 250 was NOT CALLED.

SB 250 is on the agenda again for May 28th @ 9:30amCST

Agenda: http://house.louisiana.gov/Agendas_2014/May_2014/0528_14_NR.pdf

The hearing is also live-streamed. Visit: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Home.aspx on the day of the hearing; we’ll posting more info also on May 28th.

joe e mike s 5.21.2014 revSeen at the May 21st hearing: Mr. Sandlin, Tony’s “owner,” along with the notorious tiger breeder/abuser/exploiter and AWA violator Joe Schreibvogel aka Joe Exotic aka Aarron Alex aka Cody Ryan. This individual owns GW Exotic Animal Park, a horrid roadside zoo that houses “approximately 200 tigers and other dangerous exotic animals.”

Learn more about Joe Schreibvogel and GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, OK at the links below, and keep in mind this is the facility Mr. Sandlin has stated he intends to send Tony to if forced to relocate the animal from his roadside display. (Reference: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/oklahoma-park-probed-in-tiger-cub-deaths/)

  • USDA Should Revoke Federal License of Nation’s Largest Big Cat Breeder

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2014/02/GW-License-Revocation.html

  • HSUS Undercover Investigation Reveals Dead Tigers, Safety Threats at Oklahoma’s GW Exotic Animal Park

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/05/ok_exotics_investigation.html

More time for Tony’s Army to ROAR!

Please see this link on how we can fight SB 250 ~ it’s especially important for Louisiana Residents to TAKE ACTION and those of us who are non-residents to share the information. Visit:

https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/how-we-can-all-help-tony/

Take Action to Ensure that Tony’s Captivity Remains Illegal!   Leave a comment

52014_appeal-TruckStopTony.jpgLouisiana bans nearly all private ownership of big cats—and for good reason. The state correctly recognizes the threats that these deadly animals pose to the community. However, a dangerous new bill in the state legislature could undermine these common-sense restrictions, so we need you to speak out now!

The bill, S.B. 250, would singularly appease Michael Sandlin, who has kept Tony the tiger isolated and on display at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana for more than a decade. His truck stop has been cited by the USDA in the past for unsanitary feeding practices, mishandling of tigers, failure to provide veterinary care, lack of shelter from inclement weather, lack of clean drinking water, and no knowledgeable employees to care for the tigers—but his exhibit has not been shut down. Ownership of Tony was even declared illegal by the Louisiana Court of Appeals, but still, Tony continues to languish.

This is no life for an intelligent, athletic animal who would travel miles every day to hunt for prey in the wild. Tony’s acute sense of smell is assaulted by constant diesel fumes, and his sensitive ears listen to roaring engines and taunts by truck stop visitors. His barren enclosure does not include activities to relieve boredom, and he sits under the scorching sun with no pool or other place to cool off. In a sign of immense psychological distress, Tony constantly paces in his tiny enclosure, putting him at risk for painful physical problems.

Why would Louisiana single out Tony for such mistreatment? A crucial component of the fight for Tony (read more here) is preventing S.B. 250 from passing the House Natural Resources Committee. Please tell the Committee members that Tony the tiger deserves better.

https://secure3.convio.net/bfusa/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=67BC965CFF88B099CECD831C785FD246.app325a?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=885

Louisiana Residents: Speak Up NOW for Tony the Truck Stop Tiger! via @BornFreeUSA   Leave a comment

BFUSA TONY

Special Thanks to Born Free USA for this Action Alert for Louisiana Residents targeting the Natural Resources and Environment Committee.

Visit: https://secure3.convio.net/bfusa/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=D102953AC248282C078C08C95F1623C1.app367a?pagename=homepage&id=885

A hearing on SB 250, which would “exempt certain persons from the requirements of the big exotic cats rules” (specifically to allow Michael Sandlin to keep Tony at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete Louisiana) is scheduled for tomorrow May 21st at 9:30am. You can view the agenda here: http://house.louisiana.gov/Agendas_2014/May_2014/0521_14_NR.pdf

Not from Louisiana? PLEASE SHARE!

https://secure3.convio.net/bfusa/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=D102953AC248282C078C08C95F1623C1.app367a?pagename=homepage&id=885

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