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Actor James Cromwell arrested during PETA protest at Texas A&M

Actor James Cromwell and another man have been charged with disorderly conduct after police said they disrupted a meeting of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. The two were part of a demonstration Thursday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, to protest A&M's use of dogs for medical research. 

The 79-year-old actor, who is an animal welfare activist, and 34-year-old Jeremy Beckham were released after posting bonds of $5,000 each. Hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct is punishable by up to a year in jail.

In a statement issued before the demonstration, Cromwell said that "caging and hurting golden retrievers is unethical and bad science, and it needs to end now."

According to a statement on PETA's website, the protest aimed to shut down a university laboratory "where golden retrievers and other dogs who were bred to have canine muscular dystrophy struggle to walk, swallow, and even breathe." 

"Texas A&M continues to torment golden retrievers and other dogs, even though decades of these experiments have not led to a cure for humans with muscular dystrophy," Cromwell said in the PETA statement. "It's time to let the dogs out, and my friends at PETA and I want them released to good homes where they can live out the rest of their lives in peace."

Texas A&M University announced recently that it was reducing its breeding of dogs for medical research, but the group wants the experiments to stop entirely. 

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