James Cromwell Charged For Protesting Cat Torture On Wisconsin Campus

James Cromwell has been charged for his part in a protest that disrupted a meeting at the University of Wisconsin to speak out against animal testing there.

For his actions in the protest, the 73-year-old James Cromwell was charged along with 27-year-old activist Jeremy Beckham, The Associated Press reported. The pair protested the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents meeting on February 7, holding signs showing a cat with a metal implant in its head at a UW-Madison lab.

Cromwell is accused of bursting into a board room, where he shouted,”This is not science. This is cruel!”

The university’s regents called police, who arrested Cromwell and Beckham. After they were taken away the meeting resumed.

PETA posted to its website a video of the protest along with a picture of that cat with the metal implant. The animal rights organization claims that UW-Madison starves, deafens, and decapitates at least 30 cats each year for brain research on hearing issues.

The UW–Madison Research Animal Resources Center has defended its research. The group issued a statement saying:

“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.”

Cromwell has appeared in a number of movies, including playing a kind-hearted farmer in the 1995 movie Babe. The role earned Cromwell an Oscar nomination. Cromwell has also appeared in L.A. Confidential, The Green Mile, and The Artist.

James Cromwell is charged with violating a civil ordinance, which is not a criminal charge. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 25 and could face up to $1,000 in fines