In the wake of ALDF’s recent victory in the Tony the truck stop tiger case, we’ve received a lot of questions about the ruling. ALDF staff attorney Matthew Liebman answers some of these questions.
Q: Why does Tony have to wait until December before he can leave the Tiger Truck Stop?
A: Michael Sandlin’s current permit is valid until December 2011. The court enjoined the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from issuing Mr. Sandlin a new permit when the current one expires. Although ALDF argued that the court had the authority and the obligation to order the Department to immediately revoke the permit, the court disagreed. The court directed the agency not to issue a new permit, but the current permit will stay valid until it expires in December.
Q: Is there anything that can be done to get Tony released sooner?
A: ALDF is looking at all of its legal options to determine whether further litigation could change the timeframe for Tony’s release. In the meantime, we’re encouraging our supporters to sign our petition urging the Department to revoke Mr. Sandlin’s permit. Even though the court refused to order the Department to revoke the current permit, the Department retains the authority to do so on its own if it chooses.
Q: Where will Tony go in December?
A: Although ALDF asked for custody of Tony in our lawsuit, the court refused to award him to us. That means the decision of where Tony goes in December is out of our hands. But ALDF will do everything it can to recommend and promote Tony’s release to a reputable, established, and humane sanctuary that will meet all of Tony’s needs.