An animal rights group pressing to have a tiger relocated to a sanctuary from the road-side enclosure where it has lived most of its life was granted permission to be party to the lawsuit filed against the state by the truck stop owner. The ruling by District Judge Janice Clark will allow an attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund to aid attorneys for the state defending the constitutionality of Louisiana’s ban on ownership of big cats like the 550-pound Siberian-Bengal named Tony housed at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete.
Michael Sandlin, the truck stop owner, was originally grandfathered in when the state ban went into effect — an exemption the ALDF overturned through a lawsuit against the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries last year. Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony expired at the end of last year and, in ALDF’s view, he has been lodging the animal illegally ever since. However, last week a Baton Rouge district court judge ruled that ALDF lacked standing to force the state to remove Tony from the truck stop.
There’s been little shortage of media reports underscoring the dangers of private ownership of big cats including the forced killing of more than a dozen big, exotic mammals in Ohio last year after the owner of a private “zoo” committed suicide moments after releasing the animals and, over the weekend, the mauling of a Scottish woman at a game park in South Africa, the latter of which ALDF executive director Stephen Wells references in a press release touting Monday’s court victory: “Upholding Louisiana’s big cat ban will prevent untold harm in the future to other big cats like Tony, who deserve better than a sad life at a roadside truck stop, and to the general public, who — like the woman mauled by a ‘tame’ cheetah at a game park just this past weekend — are endangered when wild predators are treated like pets.”
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AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
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