MADISON, Wis. (MCT) — James Cromwell, the Oscar-nominated actor who starred in "L.A. Confidential" and "Babe," was arrested Thursday morning with another animal-rights protester for shouting during a University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents meeting, calling campus research on cats torture, not science.
Cromwell and Jeremy Beckham of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals burst into the meeting room as the regents discussed an unrelated matter. Regents appeared taken aback, but no one responded to Cromwell and Beckham. They held two large signs showing a cat named Double Trouble with metal implanted in its head at a UW-Madison lab, while shouting about the treatment of cats.
"This is not science. This is cruel," Cromwell said.
Beckham, a PETA spokesman who lives in Salt Lake City, went limp and dropped to the floor in front of the regents.
Two campus police campus officers dragged him from the room, and the meeting resumed. Beckham and Cromwell were taken to the Dane County Jail and will be charged with disorderly conduct, according to UW System spokesman David Giroux.
Cromwell, 73, said that police were very courteous, and that he was led out in handcuffs, "which is always fun." Beckham said the two will appear in court Thursday.
PETA said in a press release that 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.
Eric Sandgren, director of the Research Animal Resources Center on campus, said in an email that PETA's claims are false, and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has conducted independent examinations that came to the same conclusions.