Ottawa Sportsmen's Club NewsJanuary 15, 2003
Carole Williams, Club Reporter
U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
Formerly the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America
801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH 43229
Ph. 614/888-4868 - Fax 614/888-0326
Web Site: www.ussportsmen.org
E-Mail: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 14, 2003
Contact: Doug Jeanneret (614) 888-4868 x 212 or Beth Ruth (614) 888-4868 x 214
Sportsmen's Advocacy Group Demands Michigan State Drop Animal Rights Law Center
(Columbus) - The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, the nation's premier advocacy organization on behalf of hunters, anglers and trappers, is demanding that Michigan State University (MSU) cease the operation of the newly announced Animal Legal and Historical Web Center. Michigan State University is a state-funded university.
The website contains information on animal rights law, is sponsored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an animal rights group, and is operated by Professor David Favre, an avid anti-hunter.
Sportsmen and alumni have been voicing their displeasure with MSU's sponsorship of the Center. Thus far, their concerns remain unanswered.
"Animal rights groups, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, file lawsuits to stop hunting," said Bud Pidgeon, president of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. "The man running the Center is on record making outrageous statements against hunting. Therefore, a state university is providing the resources to ban hunting and other animal uses. I don't think Michigan taxpayers should stand for it, and I know that sportsmen won't."
Professor Favre has been very direct about his disdain for hunting.
In the Spring, 2000, State Bar of Michigan Newsletter, Favre said "Most hunters would rather be left alone, claiming it is a personal decision to hunt or not, and that nobody has a right to dissuade their decision. The same argument was undoubtedly made by the owners of slaves."
"Besides the tasteless comparison, he obviously doesn't understand that hunting plays a huge role in Michigan's economy and culture," said Pidgeon.
A recent study funded by the federal government indicates that Michigan's approximately 800,000 hunters provided nearly $1.3 billion to the state's economy in 2001. Michigan ranks seventh in the nation in hunting-related retail sales. In addition, hunters and anglers paid more than $67 million in fees and taxes, which is 76 percent of the total expenditures for fish and wildlife conservation programs in the state.
Michigan taxpayers funded $654 million of MSU's budget during the last fiscal year, about 45.1 percent.
This is not the first time that such a program was launched at a state-supported university. In 2000, legislators in New Jersey successfully persuaded Rutgers University to close down its Animal Rights Law Center operated by well-known activist Professor Gary Francione after a sea of protest by sportsmen.
"The bottom line is that state tax dollars should not be used to subsidize the animal rights lobby," remarked Pidgeon. "I believe the citizens of Michigan will agree."
Sportsmen 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 Web 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, www.ussportsmen.org.
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