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Michigan State Remains Defiant

Michigan State University Remains Defiant,

Refuses to Close Animal Rights Website

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Calls on Elected Officials to Contact the University

(Columbus) – Michigan State University (MSU) has disregarded the demands of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and numerous concerned sportsmen to cease the operation of its Animal Legal and Historical Center. The Alliance is now calling on Michigan legislators to join the sportsmen’s demand that the web center be closed down.

Sportsmen and other Michigan taxpayers believe that MSU, a state-funded university, is inappropriately taking a position on a political issue by sponsoring the Animal Legal and Historical Center website. Michigan taxpayers provided $654 million to MSU during the last fiscal year, which is about 45 percent of their budget. Sportsmen also object to the university partnering with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), a national organization that challenges animal uses in court.

Yesterday it appeared that Michigan State was showing signs of buckling to pressure when the university removed the reference to the ALDF on its title page. Apparently that is not the case.

A university spokesman issued a statement to Fox 47 News that the school has no intention of closing down the site. The spokesman said MSU does not censor its departments’ websites as long as they don’t break the law and follow university policy.

The Animal Legal and Historical Center, which is operated by Professor David Favre, an avid anti-hunter, contains volumes of information on animal rights law. It provides legal services for the animal rights movement to use in court to challenge legitimate animal uses including hunting, farming, animal research, zoos and circuses.

The center has already attracted the ire of a prominent elected official.

“It really disturbs me that public dollars would be used in something as political as this,” said State Representative Susan Tabor (R-Lansing), who was recently appointed Chairman of the House Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Committee. “I have called MSU President Peter McPherson and asked for time to sit down with him to discuss the issue and to reiterate my desire to do away with this website.”

“The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is calling on all Michigan legislators to join Representative Tabor in demanding that Michigan State shut down this center,” said Rob Sexton, vice president for government affairs for the Alliance.

This is not the first time that such a program was launched at a state-supported university. In 2000, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance successfully pressed legislators in New Jersey to persuade Rutgers University to close down its Animal Rights Law Center operated by well-known activist Professor Gary Francione.

Sportsmen, MSU alumni and state legislators can contact Peter McPherson, president of Michigan State University at 517-355-6560 to voice their displeasure over the university’s decision to support the Animal Legal and Historical Center. Letters should be addressed to: Office of the President, Michigan State University, 450 Administration Building, East Lansing, MI 48824-1046.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers nationally in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, http://www.ussportsmen.org.

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