Tiger Truck Stop Releases Statement on the LA Supreme Court Decision about Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

"We are very disappointed the Louisiana Supreme Court decided not to hear the case concerning Tony the truck stop tiger. This is not only a loss for Tony but a loss for all Louisiana" - Michael Sandlin

Online PR News – 08-October-2013 – Grosse Tete, Louisiana – We are very disappointed the Louisiana Supreme Court decided not to hear the case concerning Tony the truck stop tiger. The legislature clearly intended to allow our federally licensed USDA facility to continue to keep Tony in our animal exhibit, but outside interests employed technicalities and questionable legal practices to deprive us of our rights. Only the LA Supreme Court could right that wrong.This is not only a personal loss for us and Tony but a loss for all Louisiana.

The danger to our rights is twofold. First, the Animal RIGHTS activists do not seek to improve the WELFARE of the animals they lobby for. They simply want to ascribe full constitutional rights to animals – an impossible goal. The Animal Rights activists will not stop until they have disrupted animal owners' rights throughout the country, preventing individuals from owning any pets, exotic or domesticated, as that would violate the “rights” of the animals. Second, they plan to stop all hunting and commercial farming or production of meat. This type of legislation has already been attempted in other states. Nebraska and other states have adopted measure to stop this type of activism as it injures commerce and treads on personal rights. Every animal owner and animal industry in our state should stand up and take notice. This is just the beginning, and they will not stop until they get their way or are defeated, at the cost of millions in legal fees to our industries and citizens.

Even though they were specifically mentioned in legislation as a legacy tiger exhibitor, Louisiana State University (LSU) stands to lose their tiger as well. The tactics of the animal activists is to pour money into passing laws that play on public opinion. Given the sensitive nature of constituencies regarding animals, and the lies the activists tell, a state law could be passed by legislators outside of the LSU area and deprive the state of one of its great sentimental institutions.

It does not matter to these people how well the tigers are cared for, their agenda is more important than the well being of any one animal. This is reflected in the fact that People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) kills more than eighty seven (87)% of the animals they “treat”. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) takes in millions of dollars but spends only one (1)% of its revenue to provide for animals. Other activists have been described as“terrorists in three-piece suits” using our easily manipulated judicial systems to take animals from the people who love and care for them. It is scarcely believable that animal rights terrorists from California were allowed to ultimately dictate the intent of our state law and control state departments.

Our constitution demands that all individuals be treated the same. The 2006 Louisiana Exotic Animal Ban is discriminatory because it exempts colleges and American Zoological Association (AZA) accredited zoos. AZA, a private non-profit organization and not a government agency, has been given exclusive rights to accredit zoos in Louisiana, but by creating a monopoly for the AZA they discriminate against other accrediting organizations. Tiger Truck Stop is accredited by the United States Zoological Association (USZA) which the state does not yet recognize. What other evidence of discrimination is there? LSU, the Baton Rouge Zoo and the Tiger Truck Stop all have exactly the same federal zoo license. There is no legal basis to exempt one USDA licensed exhibitor over another. This is blatant discrimination, and is only one of the unintended consequences of the law.

Some have maintained it’s an issue of public safety. During the appeal hearing of the First Circuit Court at the LSU Law Center, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) attorney stated "tigers are dangerous to the public and we don't want tigers in Louisiana". In the midst of“Tiger Country”, ALDF stated the obvious, and their true intent -ALDF does not want tigers in Louisiana.It’s true all tigers can be dangerous to the public, not just Tiger Truck Stop’s Tony. If Mike the tiger were to escape at LSU stadium with 90,000 energetic football fans, it would be extremely dangerous. LSU has had a tiger escape. No tiger has ever escaped the zoo at the Tiger Truck Stop. Zoos that have and follow safety protocols do not have problems with dangerous animals harming anyone.

Tiger Truck Stop has a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of this law, which we believe gives us the chance to right this unintentionally discriminatory legislation. The vast majority of people support all Louisiana tigers and understand the value of tiger preservation and exhibition—and trust us and the USDA to take care of our animals. More than 17,000 people have signed the Save Tony petitions. We believe federal licensing is adequate and significant as federal regulations have kept people safe and insured proper care of exotic animals for decades. There was never a need for individual states to become involved. We, with our family, our legal team, and supporters, are doing everything we can to keep Tony safe here in his Louisiana home where he belongs. And we are fighting to keep Louisiana free from outside influences and non-constitutional activism who want to control us.

This threat is very real to Tony. Tigers and other exotic animals that have been forcibly removed from their homes often die within three months, from shock and grief. If Governor Jindal and our Louisiana state officials really have the welfare of Louisiana tigers at heart, and our constitutional rights, they would take measures to stop this attack on our personal freedoms and property. They would insure that Tony remains safe, where he is loved, and has obviously thrived for thirteen years. On the other hand, if Tony even survives relocation, he will be isolated at an overcrowded accredited sanctuary, starving for human affection, and grieving for the people who have loved and cared for him over the years. If he dies, like so many other seized animals have, as a result of this discriminatory exotic animal ban, his blood will be on the hands of an uncaring, unresponsive government. They will have sent Tony the tiger to his death.

As long as we have breath and God gives us the means to continue fighting for Tony, we will.

Michael Sandlin
Tiger Truck Stop, Inc.

Tiger Truck Stop, I-10, Exit #139, Grosse Tete, Louisiana
Tiger Truck Stop has exhibited live tigers at its location for over 25 years to the delight of thousands of local residents, tourists, truck drivers, and children of all ages. Stop by to see the tiger exhibit, fuel up, and eat at our world famous 24 hour cajun family restaurant.

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