James Cromwell was arrested on Tuesday, February 7 in Wisconsin. The actor, who got an Oscar nomination for his role in film "Babe", and an official of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Jeremy Beckham, were taken to Dane County Jail after bursting into a board meeting at the University of Wisconsin and claiming the school tortures cats for scientific research.
They held two large signs showing a cat with metal implanted in its head at a UW-Madison lab. The signs included photos of a cat named Double Trouble that they allege was mistreated and later killed in a 2008 research study of eye movements. "This is not science, this is torture, and it is criminal! Shame on UW!" Cromwell shouted before willingly being led away by police.
The staff members in the meeting room were visibly stunned by the sudden distraction, but no one responded to Cromwell or Beckham. After the two men were dragged out of the room, the meeting immediately resumed.
"The University of Wisconsin may think that grant money matters more than animals' suffering, but the public who unwittingly funds this cruelty demands an end to these hideous experiments," the 73-year-old actor said. "My friends at PETA and I will continue to call on UW-Madison to stop cutting into and killing cats in this useless experiment."
The Thursday protest came two weeks after PETA officials sent a letter to the UW Board of Regents describing the abuse of nine other cats in the same laboratory where Double Trouble was killed. PETA has claimed 30 cats a year at UW-Madison are starved, deafened, and decapitated for brain research that hasn't accomplished its goals of improving human hearing. The university denies the accusations.
Cromwell and Beckham were released on the evening after being charged for disorderly conduct and are scheduled to appear in court next Thursday.