Oscar nominated actor arrested at UW for animal rights protest - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Oscar nominated actor arrested at UW for animal rights protest

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Academy Award nominee and longtime PETA activist James Cromwell was arrested Thursday morning after interrupting a meeting of the UW Board of Regents.

The UW Police Department says Cromwell and Jeremy Beckham entered the meeting holding oversized poster boards with graphic photos of a cat named Double Trouble that they say was experimented on at UW-Madison.

PETA says Cromwell shouted "Shame on UW for mutilating and killing cats!" upon entry to the meeting.

The UWPD says Cromwell agreed to leave when asked by officers, but Beckham passively resisted by going limp and falling to the ground. Officers then had to remove Beckham.

Both men were arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Madison.com reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture investigated an allegation about the UW experimenting on cats but it found no violations.

Thursday's protest came after PETA sent a letter to the UW Board of Regents on January 22 claiming nine other cats were abused as part of UW research.

In response to PETA's claims, Eric Sandgren, director of the UW-Madison Research Animal Resource Center released this statement Thursday:

"Today's events are just another attempt by outside activists to draw attention to a cause. They have attacked and distorted this research -- which has very real benefits for people who are deaf -- from every angle imaginable. Exhaustive independent investigation by the USDA, which regulates the use of animals in research, concluded that PETA's allegations are baseless."

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