ALDF; A Truck Stop is No Place for a Tiger! Why We Won’t Stop Fighting for Tony

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April 21, 2017

At this moment a 16-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger named Tony is caged at a gas station truck stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, 20 miles outside of Baton Rouge. Confined to a cramped metal cage, Tony breathes in diesel fumes daily while passersby tease and harass him. Tony has lived this way for nearly his entire life, and his circumstances are often a shock to the average person, who feels innately that this is not the right place for a tiger, especially an ageing one with neglected veterinary needs. People ask, “how can this be legal?” and the Animal Legal Defense Fund believes firmly that it’s not. In fact, we’ve been fighting for over six years to have Tony relocated to a sanctuary that can meet his complex needs and give him the veterinary care he is entitled to. Our campaign to save Tony is now even more dire after reports raising concerns about Tony’s health.

Let Tony Live the Rest of His Days in Comfort

Tony

All across the world, people follow Tony’s story. Recently, we’ve received many reports from worried citizens stating that Tony appears lethargic and is experiencing diarrhoea and a decreased appetite. The Animal Legal Defense Fund obtained photo and video evidence and enlisted the help of a veterinarian with experience treating exotic animals to review it. In the vet’s expert opinion, Tony is likely suffering from kyphosis of the spine and an injury or other condition that is causing him to limp. This isn’t run-of-the-mill ageing; Tony needs help. Living at a truck stop is, at the least, exacerbating Tony’s poor health. While no animal is suited to living at a truck stop, tigers are particularly ill-equipped because of their sharp sense of smell and sensitive hearing. Independent of all our pending legal work to free Tony, the Animal Legal Defense Fund just submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which licenses the Truck Stop under the federal Animal Welfare Act, urging that Tony be inspected by a licensed specialist and given any necessary veterinary care.

The Legal Battle for Tony’s Safety

We believe that Tony, and all big cats held in captivity, deserve to live in environments that meet their psychological and physical needs. Our campaign to remove Tony from his particularly grim captivity at Tiger Truck Stop has been lengthy and determined. Michael Sandlin, the owner of the truck stop, however, has pulled out all the stops to keep Tony in captivity.  He has spent over $750,000 fighting our efforts and has also manipulated the legislative system by successfully lobbying the Louisiana legislature to pass a special exemption designed solely to benefit Sandlin and allow him to keep Tony. It’s no surprise that Sandlin puts up such a fight; he’s been exploiting tigers like Tony for decades, using them as a gimmick to lure customers to his gas station. The USDA has cited Sandlin numerous times for violations ranging from failure to provide veterinary care to lack of clean drinking water. In 2003, Sandlin relinquished three tigers amid public outrage over his treatment of the big cats. Only Tony remains.

Inspired in part by Tony’s plight, then Representative Warren Triche, Jr. introduced legislation in 2006 to ban private possession of big cats in Louisiana. The law passed, and while it was a tremendous win for the big cats saved from being the next Tony, Sandlin continued to hold Tony in violation of the law. The Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for unlawfully issuing Sandlin a permit to exhibit Tony. We were joined in the suit by former Rep. Triche, Jr. and several other Louisiana taxpayers. Both the trial court and the Louisiana Court of Appeal held that Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop were ineligible for a big cat permit and could no longer keep Tony captive. In October 2013, the Louisiana Supreme Court let that decision stand. Still, Tony remained at the truck stop.

Despite the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s victory, which should have freed Tony and allowed him to be moved to a sanctuary, Sandlin has been able to keep Tony in captivity because of two legal tactics that he has pursued relentlessly.

First, after the trial court ruled against Sandlin and while his appeal was pending, he filed a separate lawsuit challenging the big cat ban as unconstitutional.  The Animal Legal Defense Fund, along with concerned Louisiana citizens, promptly filed a petition to intervene in that action to defend the constitutionality of the big cat ban.  Both the State of Louisiana and the Animal Legal Defense Fund argued Sandlin’s claims were barred because he failed to raise them in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s prior action.  Those arguments are still pending today, nearly five years later.

Second, Sandlin manipulated the legislative system by successfully lobbying the Louisiana legislature to pass Act 697, a special law designed to exempt Sandlin – and only Sandlin – from the big cat ban. It was signed into law by then Governor Jindal. The Animal Legal Defense Fund again immediately went to work, suing the state of Louisiana and arguing Act 697 violated the Louisiana Constitution because it was a “special law” designed to benefit one individual from existing state public safety and animal welfare laws. We were again joined in the suit by former Rep. Triche Jr. and other concerned Louisiana citizens.

We’re Not Giving Up

The Animal Legal Defense Fund recently combined its challenges to both of Sandlin’s legal tactics into the same action, filing an amended petition in intervention in Sandlin’s lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the big cat ban.  This will allow the Animal Legal Defense Fund — in one motion — to raise arguments both challenging the constitutionality of Act 697’s exemption for Tony and explain why Sandlin’s challenges to the big cat ban itself should fail.  A ruling in favour of the Animal Legal Defense Fund on such a motion should finally put an end to Sandlin’s legal tactics and provide a final resolution allowing Tony to be relocated to a sanctuary.

As the world watches the ups and downs of the fight to save Tony, the tiger’s life remains essentially the same. He doesn’t know his story inspired a former Representative to come out of retirement to fight for him, or that the big cat ban will help others of his kind. All he knows is life in a cramped cage off the highway. Tony deserves the veterinary care he needs and to live out the rest of his life in peace. He doesn’t just deserve it, we believe he’s guaranteed it under the law. We won’t stop until Tony is safe

News source:http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/we-wont-stop-fighting-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger/

 

The Animals at Animaland Zoo Have a New Home, Thanks To ALDF!

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“Here’s an email I’m eager to share with you, I’m so relieved these animals are now safe!!” But there is so much more work to be done to free animals from dilapidated road side zoo!!”

 Animaland Zoo Shut Down For Good


Dear Julie,

Now they have grass under their paws, clean water, companionship, enrichment and veterinary care. At last, thanks to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and your support,the animals once held at Animaland Zoo in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania will get the lives they deserve. With you by our side, we sued the roadside zoo for violating the Endangered Species Act and state wildlife laws. In the face of our lawsuit, Animaland settled with us and shut down. We were able to step in and choose new locations for Bear the wolf and the two black bears, Shawn and Sandy.

Let’s celebrate this together—your continued support of the Animal Legal Defense Fund empowers us to litigate these victories for animals.

Help Us Rescue Other Animals in Captivity

All of the animals at Animaland were suffering physically and psychologically. Sandy and Shawn were forced to share a concrete enclosure for 17 years. Almost two decades in a cell hardly big enough for the bears to move in. Thanks to our lawsuit and logistical support from the sanctuary team at Lions Tigers & Bears, Sandy and Shawn are now living at Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, a Texas sanctuary where they’ll have the freedom they need.

We also found a safe place for Bear the wolf to live out the rest of his life. Bear was lethargic at Animaland, a pack animal in agonizing solitude. After being nowhere near others of his kind for years, Bear is now safe at the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, where he is exploring lush vegetation amongst other wolves.

Your generous support helped save Bear, Shawn, Sandy and other animals from Animaland. The tax deductible donation you make today can help us find happy endings for even more animals.

We would also like to thank the law firm Baker Hostetler in Philadelphia for their invaluable pro bono assistance with this case.

Every day, the Animal Legal Defense Fund fights to protect animals, and victories like this one are the reason we never give up.

For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director

Many more animals need out help, Please visit:https://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5154/p/salsa/donation/common/public/;jsessionid=A985D6881533F73B3E5089D7711F864B-n4?donate_page_KEY=14317&okay=true

Push to reinstate ban on circus animals performing on Gold Coast City Council-owned properties

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ANDREW POTTS, EXCLUSIVE, Gold Coast Bulletin; September 4, 2016 3:00pm

A CITY hall cage fight is brewing over plans to revive a ban on circuses with exotic animals performing within the city. Fur is expected to fly, with councillors set to defy the recommendations of bureaucrats and vote to ban circus animals on city controlled properties, nearly four years after such a ban was lifted.

A petition calling for the ban will go before the Community and Cultural Development committee on Thursday with council officers recommending that “no action be taken”. But committee head Bob La Castra said the advice was unacceptable and that he could not stand by and do nothing while animals “suffered”.

He urged ratepayers across the city to put pen to paper and lobby their elected representatives before Thursday’s vote.

Cr Bob La Castra is leading the charge to reinstate a ban on circus animals performing on the Gold Coast. Photo: Jerad Williams

“The views of those who believe this to be still acceptable are totally out of line and dated,” he said. “This should not be happening in our own backyard and we need those people who feel strongly about this to make their feelings known, so write to your councillors, speak out about it and fight this barbarity.

“By allowing these circuses on our land we are complicit in what they are doing and banning them would send a message that what they are doing is not right and that we are taking a stand.”

Police and Animal Rights campaigners outside Gold Coast Council Chambers protesting against the circus. Photo by Richard Gosling

If the ban is successful, circuses with exotic animals would still be allowed to perform on private property. A ban was first put into place in 2009 by the council with the backing of then-Mayor Ron Clarke. It was lifted in a January 2013 decision by the council in which Mayor Tom Tate used his casting vote to break a deadlock tie.

The Gold Coast Bulletin understands councillors on each sides of the argument are running the numbers to determine if the ban could potentially pass.

Both sides concede a vote could go either way.

But Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow, an ardent supporter of circuses, said she would fight the ban tooth and nail and declared the opposing argument to be “crap”.

Cr Dawn Crichlow with Massai the Lion. Pic Jono Searle.

“The kids want the circuses and I will fight all the way because it is a matter which is close to my heart and those of many others,” she said. “I am sick of the noisy minority coming up with all this crap. “I cannot believe this women condones & thinks it’s ok for children to see abused & tortured animals, just for their pleasure….condoning this just lets kids think that it is ok to be cruel to animals for the sake of entertainment????   By allowing circuses to carry on using animals is agreeing with the torturous training these poor young animals have to endure. Would it be ok to watch a double human act if you knew that one-half of the act was constantly being physically abused & tortured; just for entertainment???? NO, I DON’T THINK SO!!! ANYONE THAT DOES THINK ITS OK…WELL, I THINK THEY NEED TO BE SEEKING PROFESSIONAL  HELP”

RSCPA chief executive Mark Townend called on the council to “move with the times” and end the mistreatment of exotic animals.

“I would hope the council gets into 2016 thinking because realistically circus animals are very 1970s,” he said. “There are great circus which do not put animals through these ridiculous things which are not in their natural behaviour. “I appeal to the council to move with the times because we can have a successful circus without putting animals through such treachery.”

The petition calling for the ban to be reinstated was submitted to the council in March by then-Robina councillor Jan Grew in the final act of her 22 year political career.

More than 45 councils across Australia have exotic animal bans in place. Both City of Melbourne and Penrith both voted to introduce their own boycotts this year. Protesters are expected to attend Thursday’s council committee meeting and security will be on hand.

News Link: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/pets-and-wildlife/push-on-to-reinstate-ban-on-circus-animals-performing-on-gold-coast-city-councilowned-properties/news-story/977c58756cfc65467f2269bf8bac94f3

“See how animals are really trained to perform for your entertainment!! Then ask yourself; is this fair on the animals? Do you enjoy knowing they have been hurt for you entertainment????”

“The Circus, where animals are miserable & go insane; confined to metal cages when not being abused & are trained through fear; fear of being whipped, hit with objects, tied by the neck i.e tortured, etc. etc.”

(Anyone who condones this…will be classed as an animal abuser through my eyes)

Campaigners welcome SNP move to ban wild animals in travelling circuses

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“Well let’s hope this has more luck than the supposed ban on animals in circuses in England…which after several years of being promised is still no further on; pitiful & Lame! Scotland I hope you implement the new laws quickly & put England to shame!”

By:-Daniel Sanderson, Scottish Political Correspondent

The move follows concern over the treatment of animals exploited to entertain circus crowds

ANIMAL rights campaigners have welcomed a commitment to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland.

The move would deliver on an SNP manifesto commitment and follows a 2014 consultation in which 98 per cent of the public backed a ban.

That year, it emerged that two lions and three tigers were spending the winter in small cages in Aberdeenshire, leading ministers to commit to “look carefully” at introducing legislation.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman confirmed that it now “intends to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.” She added: “We are currently investigating the best mechanism for introducing legislation on ethical grounds and will make further announcements in due course.”

The Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity, said it was “delighted” with the pledge, which means Scotland is on course to become the first part of the UK to introduce a ban, although they are widespread across the world.

However, it said questions remained over the timescale and called for swift action. Chris Draper, programmes manager for captive wild animals, said: The Government in Westminster has promised a similar ban in England but has not proceeded with bringing in the already-written legislation. We would hate to see Scotland replicate the mistakes and delays that have occurred south of the border, and urge the Scottish Government to act swiftly to end the practice once and for all.”

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its Scottish Branch also welcomed the announcement.

A spokesman said: “The welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus in terms of housing nor being able to express normal behaviour. While this specific issue may not affect a great number of individual animals in the UK, we nevertheless believe it is emblematic of the way we treat all animals under human care.

“We are pleased to see the new Scottish Government not only identifying opportunities to improve animal health and welfare in Scotland, but taking hold of these opportunities with both hands – and we would urge other UK Governments to follow their lead.”

News Link:-http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/14556767.Campaigners_welcome_SNP_move_to_ban_wild_animals_in_travelling_circuses/

Animal cruelty arrests in South Herefordshire Hunt investigation

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The hunt kennels in Wormelow have been closed and all horses and hounds moved elsewhere!

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty in connection with an investigation into the South Herefordshire Hunt.

West Mercia Police is questioning a 37-year-old man and woman, aged 27, but has so far released no further details.

The hunt’s kennels in Wormelow, near Hereford, have been closed and all horses and hounds moved elsewhere.

A message on the hunt’s Facebook page says salaried staff have been suspended and an internal inquiry will begin.

Latest updates on hunt arrests

The gates at the kennels are shut and nobody was on site earlier. West Mercia Police says the investigation is continuing.

News Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-36497801

Thai Monk Caught Feeing Temple With Tiger Skins

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Thai wildlife officers load a tiger on to a truck outside the temple in Kanchanaburi province. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Getty

Wildlife authorities in Thailand have found adult tiger skins and fangs during a raid on the “tiger temple” tourist attraction and intercepted a monk who was trying to leave in a car that was carrying skins. Separately, officials said they would press charges against the Buddhist temple after 40 tiger cubs were found in a freezer on Wednesday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) moved in this week to relocate 137 tigers to government-run sanctuaries after repeated allegations of animal trafficking. The temple claims the tigers will be worse off.

“Today we found tigers skins and amulets in a car which was trying to leave a temple,” said Adisorn Noochdumrong, the deputy director of the DNP. He said a search of several monks’ quarters yielded further body parts, bringing Thursday’s haul to two full-body tiger skins, about 10 fangs and dozens of pieces of tiger fur.

Volunteers, staff and monks at Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple complex have long denied trafficking allegations. But international animal rights groups including WWF and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals applauded the raid. Police Col Bandith Meungsukhum told AFP the dead cubs would have been one or two days old. He said their DNA would be tested to see if they were related to tigers at the temple.

The temple claims it decided in 2010 to stop cremating the cubs and preserve them to “keep as proof against the allegations of selling cubs”.

Thailand is a central route for the illegal wildlife trade through south-east Asia, including for ivory, rhino horn and live animals. Tiger parts, including bones and penises, are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banned the trade in tiger parts and products in 2007. The raid is the culmination of a battle that has been going on for years between the government and the temple. Thailand has an estimated 1,200-1,300 captive tigers.

News Link & Video:-https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/02/thai-monk-caught-temple-tiger-skins-fangs

What’s Behind The Monastery; with over 100 tigers?

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June 5, 2016 1:00 am

Find out what’s behind the monastery with over 100 tigers? Find out more about the controversy…

Official name: Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Yannasampanno

Location: Moo 5, Tambon Sing, Sai Yok district, Kanchanaburi province

Allegations: It is accused of illegal possession of wild animals and illegal trade in wildlife.

A probe will soon be launched on whether it legitimately acquired its 2,000 rai block of land.

Background: In 2001, it had seven tigers.

: In 2015, officials found 147 tigers in its compound and embedded these big cats with microchips so they could be tracked.

: In 2016, officials started moving tigers out of the temple.

Shocking Discoveries: During the operation to search and catch tigers for relocation, officials found the bodies of 40 tiger cubs in jars, plus frozen tiger carcasses, tiger skins, tiger amulets, engraved tiger fangs and stickers about antler herbs and food supplements made of tiger bodies. The body of a binturong, antlers and parts of various other animals were also found in the compound.

News Link:http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Whats-behind-the-monastery-with-over-100-tigers-30287353.html

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