James Cromwell Arrested at Texas A&M University While Protesting Dog Lab Testing at the School

James Cromwell continues to protest animal research and lab testing.

The Babe actor, 79, was arrested during a PETA protest at Texas A&M University’s Board of Regents meeting while calling on the school to shut down its laboratory where golden retrievers and other dogs are part of medical research, a police department spokesman tells PEOPLE.

Cromwell and another man were charged with hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct and were transported to the Brazos County Jail where they were booked, PEOPLE confirms.

The university once bred sick dogs for canine muscular dystrophy research but stopped the practice in September after years of protests, according to a report by KTBX.

While the university has stopped breeding, it has continued its research into the disease using dogs. A spokesperson for the university did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

“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 a 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.”

Cromwell was previously arrested over similar efforts.

The actor spoke to PEOPLE in July 2017 before he was sentenced to jail time after he was arrested for a 2015 protest. He chose to spend time behind bars instead of paying a $375 fine and 16 hours of community service.

“Once you commit yourself to commit an act of disobedience, you know there is going to be consequences,” Cromwell said. “They imposed this ridiculous fine and 16 hours of community service. What seemed incongruous to me was why should I admit guilt and thereby besmirch the whole idea of what we were doing and the importance of it. So I said I’m not gonna pay the fine, I’d rather go to jail.”

James Cromwell

The university has posted a response to backlash over its research on dogs after Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx sent a letter to the school’s president asking the university to end its research and release the dogs in 2018.

The Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences school at the university claimed PETA obtained a video in 2016 that “exploited” the dogs in their care and misconstrued their treatment.

“Never tortured: A medical instrument is used to measure the strength of the dogs’ muscles. These results are very useful in predicting whether a treatment will be effective,” the announcement read. “Strength is a major indicator of treatment efficacy in people. The procedure on dogs is done while the dog is under anesthesia and lasts less than 20 minutes. The test is done two or three times in the dogs’ life, has no after-effects, e.g. dogs are not in pain and have no lameness.”

The announcement added, “As one of the veterinarian caregivers explains: ‘These dogs are loved from the moment they are born until they leave this Earth.’ They receive around-the-clock veterinary care at a world-class facility that opened in 2016. They play outside and have toys and friends to play with.”

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