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MADISON, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has closed a controversial cat research lab.

University spokesman Chris Barncard confirmed Friday the lab quietly closed months ago. He said the professor who ran the lab is on the path to retirement.

He said the retirement was not spurred by pressure from outside organizations.

A representative from the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Friday said she believed activist campaigns pushed the university to close the lab.

In 2013, 74-year-old actor James Cromwell and 27-year-old activist Jeremy Beckham were charged with disorderly conduct after they protested the lab at a university meeting. The two held up large signs depicting a cat with metal implanted in its head and shouted about how the lab treated cats.

Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Controversial cat lab closes quietly

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