Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA has sent an urgent letter to the board of directors of
the American Humane Association (AHA) detailing reported allegations of
incidents—some of them fatal—and lack of proper oversight involving animals on
more than a dozen recent or current film and television productions purportedly
monitored for animal safety by the AHA, as related to PETA by whistleblowers.
PETA is asking the AHA to investigate the allegations and, if they prove to be
valid, to fix any problems that allowed them to occur.
The AHA is the organization—known for its "No Animals Were
Harmed" statement seen in film credits—tasked by Hollywood with monitoring the use of animals on TV and
film sets. But it is not clear that this statement means what
it seems to say. The deaths of
horses on the set of HBO's Luck made it
clear that AHA involvement didn't mean that animals were safe. After PETA took
that matter public, the series was canceled—and PETA was contacted with reports
about several other productions where animals allegedly died or were injured or
put at risk. If the reports are substantiated, some of the problems could have
been averted. Some of the assertions allege that AHA's management ignored problems
or even helped set up the filming of sequences that were potentially dangerous
The productions about which concerns were conveyed to PETA
include Moonrise Kingdom,
Boardwalk Empire, The Hobbit, Failure to Launch, Abraham
Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Lone
Ranger, and others. PETA was informed
that the AHA ratings of some films do not reflect what occurred on set, that "Acceptable"
ratings have been given when not all animal action was monitored, and that
ratings were changed when the AHA feared information about problems on the set
would be leaked. Some of the reported incidents allegedly resulted in injuries to
animals and even their deaths.
Whether or not the whistleblowers' claims are verified or if
the AHA institutes reforms, AHA ratings are based only on the short period of
time when animals are on the set—they don't reveal anything about how the
animals were trained or the conditions in which they live.
There is no reason to use animals as "actors" when
animation, blue screen, computer-generated imagery, and other advanced
technologies can produce realistic
substitutes. If you see a movie that uses animals in an improper way or portrays animals disrespectfullly,
walk out, and tell the theater manager that you'd like a refund and why. For television
shows or commercials, express
your objections to network representatives or the advertised company.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.