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Grosse Tete Truck Stop Tiger Law Unconstitutional?

Tony Tiger
Courtesy Tiger Truck Stop

The fate of where Tony the Tiger , the famous Tiger Truck Stop  mascot, will be living could come down to an interpretation of the Louisiana Constitution. I am guessing our founding fathers did not have this in mind when they created the basis for governing our state years ago but who knows, maybe they did. Let’s reset the story.

Tony the Tiger lives at Tiger Truck Stop which is located along I-10 at Grosse Tete. Tony has been a fixture at the business for many years and may just be the second most photographed tiger in the state.

A few years ago an animal rights group felt that Tony was not living in the best of conditions and they  pursued legal action to have the Tiger relocated.

Enter the Louisiana Legislature who in this past session passed a law making it possible for Tony to stay put.  The problem with that law, according to those who want to see Tony relocated, it is in direction violation with Louisiana’s Constitution.

“It turns out that the Louisiana Constitution has a provision that prohibits passing such ‘special laws’ that confer any right, privilege, or immunity only on one person, one association, or one corporation.”

Those are the words of Chris Green, director of legislative affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Mr. Green’s comments were reported by the Louisiana Radio Network.

As you might think supporters of Tony and his truck stop owner Mike Sandlin disagree with the ALDF interpretation of the legislation that allows Tony to remain in Grosse Tete.

“You know, all we did was go into the law that was passed back in 2006 and kind of pick up where they left off to define what ‘previous ownership’ was.  And he happens to fall within that definition.”

Those are the words of Port Allen Senator Rick Ward who said that the law recently passed by the Louisiana Legislature did not single out Mr. Sandlin.

It is expected that the courts will take a year or more to review and rule on the case.

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