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James Cromwell protests for cats

  • The Oscar nominee is arrested for protesting the University of Wisconsin's controversial cat experiments

Hollywood star James Cromwell, from the Academy Award winning film "Babe" joins Jane Velez-Mitchell to discuss his latest role: Loud protester at a university board hearing. 

Cromwell was recently arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for bursting into a University of Wisconsin-Madison hearing to protest the university’s controversial cat experiments. The university claims the experiments are valuable research that aids in their development of cochlear implants that can help the hearing impaired.  PETA, however, calls the experiments “useless” and “cruel”.

Jane and James Cromwell discuss the experiments, and how they could be harming the cats involved.

For more on this story and other animal rights’ issues watch Jane Velez-Mitchell weeknights at 7pm ET on HLN.

For more information on these experiments you can visit PETA

And visit the University of Wisconsin site on animal testing here

The University of Wisconsin provided HLN with this statement:

The information now being disseminated by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and advocates like James Cromwell about research at our university is unsubstantiated and flawed. We have conducted a detailed review of PETA's complaint and can find no evidence to support a single claim the organization makes. Moreover, a lab inspection was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in response to PETA's complaint and their review found no substance to any of PETA's allegations.

The pictures released by PETA show an animal undergoing surgery to receive cochlear implants. Just like in human surgeries, such procedures are performed under anesthesia and animals receive pain-relieving medication during and after a surgery. After surgery, the cats adapt readily to the implants, which do not cause discomfort or distress. They are healthy and behave normally.

The sound localization research in question has direct clinical relevance for many thousands of people who have dual cochlear implants or hearing aids. This research is especially relevant to young children and significantly improves their quality of life. The work is aimed at a better understanding of how sound arrives at the ear and promises a richer acoustic environment. Contrary to PETA's inflammatory language and misrepresentations, the work was conducted appropriately and humanely in every respect with all of the oversight required by the Animal Welfare Act. We can only conclude that PETA's actions are another in a long series of actions to further its own agenda.

We remain committed to the humane conduct of important biomedical research. We appreciate your willingness to consider all sides of the story before judging our work in light of rhetoric clearly intended to mislead and inflame emotions on the issue of animal-based research.

Finally, please consider showing some of the human context of this research to provide balance to your coverage. These videos are excellent examples of that and would make your report complete and much more accurate.

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