"No Animals Were Harmed"®

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Why do I see the American Humane Association’s end credit on some movies and not on others?

The “No Animals Were Harmed”® End Credit Disclaimer is awarded only to productions that were monitored by American Humane Association’s Certified Animal Safety Representatives and which meet or exceed the strict standards laid out in our Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media.

American Humane Association’s Film & Television Unit operates under a contract with the Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund (IACF), which covers all domestically produced Screen Actors Guild (SAG) productions. Independent, non-union movies; foreign films; and SAG productions filmed abroad fall outside our jurisdiction, and we only monitor them if contracted specifically by the production company. The increase in “runaway productions” (American film production done overseas) is of particular concern because animals in filmed entertainment abroad lose out on the protections and safety monitoring that we can provide in the United States.

Click here to find out whether a movie was monitored by the American Humane Association and what rating it received.

I’ve seen American Humane Association’s “seal of approval” on movies with scenes that seem to convey an attitude that “cruelty to animals is okay.” How can a humane organization condone a message of animal cruelty?

The purpose of American Humane Association’s film and TV monitoring is to safeguard animals on-set, regardless of whether the scene being portrayed conveys an animal-friendly message. The objective of our monitoring work is the welfare of the live animals used in film production, and to that end, we refrain from commenting on content. If we refused to monitor a film because we did not agree with its message, we would risk there being no protection at all for the animals involved.

I’ve seen movies that contain extremely violent scenes with animals, such as battles where horses are falling, or dogfights. But then at the end, there’s American Humane Association’s “No Animals Were Harmed”® statement. How is that possible?

Filming techniques, controlled stunts, special effects and post-production editing can make complicated battle scenes appear realistic without injuring animals or human performers. The movie The Last Samurai, for example, enacted extensive battle scenes involving more than 60 horses without injuring a single one. Animals used in filmed entertainment are well-trained to perform specific stunts (such as falling down on cue), and the rest of the illusion is created by the filmmakers.

Despite the realism of modern films, almost every scene in today’s movies is a portrayal of an event, not a filming of the actual event. Under our Guidelines, for example, filmmakers would not be allowed to hold an actual dogfight.

What species do you protect on-set?

American Humane Association’s Certified Animal Safety Representatives are on-set to safeguard all creatures -- from ants to zebras.

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