May 11, 1998 12:00 AM

Actor James Cromwell, who received an Oscar nomination for his pig-farmer role in the 1995 movie fantasy “Babe,” has criticized CBS for broadcasting the slaughter of a wild porker and some chickens on its popular “Survivor: The Australian Outback.” Cromwell, 61, stated his beef with the network in a letter he sent to CBS entertainment president Nancy Tellem and made public by the Humane Society. “I am absolutely appalled at the clumsy and grotesque slaughter of several chickens and a wild pig in Australia during a taping of a recent episode of ‘Survivor,’ ” wrote Cromwell, who is asking for CBS to ban animal cruelty on future epsiodes of the show. “These were not the desperate actions of a person truly struggling to survive,” Cromwell continued, “but the calculated action of a contestant on an entertainment program.” In response to earlier critics of the pig-killing episodes, CBS pointed out that since the dawn of time man has been killing animals in order to survive.

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