A Baton Rouge judge Friday granted a permanent injunction preventing the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries from renewing a truckstop owner’s license to keep a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger in a 700-square-foot enclosure at his Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete.
A Baton Rouge judge Friday granted a permanent injunction preventing the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries from renewing a truckstop owner’s license to keep a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger in a 700-square-foot enclosure at his Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete. The ruling by District Judge Mike Caldwell means, barring an appeal, that Michael Sandlin will have to get rid of Tony the tiger in December when the permit lapses. Caldwell denied the plaintiffs’ motion that the permit be revoked immediately. Court costs were assessed against LDWF.
The ruling is a huge victory for Portland, Ore.-based Animal Legal Defense Fund, which filed suit against LDWF last month seeking to free Tony. According to ALDF spokeswoman Lisa Franzetta, ALDF will try to work with LDWF in December to find a good home for the tiger. Many supporters of the animal’s emancipation have lobbied to have him transferred to a big-cat sanctuary.
Tiger Truck Stop once boasted as many as six tigers and has long been the target of animal rights supporters. In 2009, LDWF ruled that Sandlin’s cat clink should be grandfathered and not subject to a new state law barring private ownership of exotic animals. ALDF challenged Sandlin’s legal ownership of the animal citing a 1993 ordinance in Iberville Parish that also prohibits exotic-animal ownership. The suite posited that if Sandlin didn’t legally own the 10-year-old Tony due to the Iberville law, he couldn't legally be grandfathered in and granted a permit from the state. Judge Caldwell found Sandlin in violation of the section of law requiring the owner to live on the premises where the exotic animal is caged.
Former state Rep. Warren Triche, who authored the 2006 state law banning private ownership of exotic animals, was a co-plaintiff along with two state residents. A Baton Rouge law firm is provided pro bono assistance with the litigation.
“Today, the law was upheld in the state of Louisiana, which has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells in a press release heralding the ruling. “It is an incredible victory for ALDF, the tens of thousands around the world who have supported this campaign, and most of all, for Tony. We eagerly look forward to the day that he leaves behind the noise and fumes of the Tiger Truck Stop for a new life of freedom that he has never known.”
No word yet on whether Sandlin plans to appeal.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.