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Animal rights activists upset over protection given to University research

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Animal rights activists are up-in-arms about a state budget measure to exempt U-W Madison researchers from crimes against animals.

The item was quietly put into a budget proposal that gives UW campuses more flexibility and freedom from state rules.

It says Madison researchers would not have to follow state laws involving crimes against animals if “bona fide scientific research” is involved.

An aide to finance co-chair Robin Vos was not sure why the liability protections were added to the budget.

Rick Bogle of Madison’s Alliance for Animals said the maneuver was quote “so arrogant, it defies credibility.”

But not all majority Republicans are behind the idea.

Mike Mikalsen, an aide to Assembly Republican Steve Nass of Whitewater, said his boss is no animal rights activist. But Mikalsen says the U-W has a record of poor care for animals, so Nass is concerned.

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