A Message about the Safety of Animal Actors

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American Humane Association has comprehensive Guidelines For The Safe Use Of Animals In Filmed Media for the use of animal actors in the production of film and television. Our animal care and safety experts are on the set of more than 2,000 productions every year protecting tens of thousands of animals from harm and ensuring their welfare. Whenever we believe there is an animal safety and welfare issue on set we have halted productions, conducted animal cruelty investigations and engaged appropriate local, state and federal government authorities. American Humane Association holds trainers, production companies, and studios accountable for their actions while on set and we call on them for the same high level of humane treatment when these animals are off set and in training.

American Humane Association possesses no authority, nor the funding, to monitor the care and treatment of animals on the compounds where animals are trained for use in the entertainment industry. There is no regulation or certification for animal trainers and the federal rules in this area are non-existent. We were horrified and saddened, as all people who love animals were, to see a recent internet video shot in 2005 that appeared to depict the maltreatment of several elephants in an independent training facility. One of those elephants recently starred in a film that we monitored to ensure the safety of the animal actors involved. We can state with absolute certainty that on set under our rigorous supervision all the animals were treated with kindness, gentleness, and respect, and that no animals were harmed in any way. We are concerned about the allegations of abuse at independent facilities outside our authority and we are calling for action to create increased protection for those animals.

American Humane Association is a non-profit organization committed to the well-being of animals and as long as the entertainment industry chooses to use animals, we assure the public that American Humane Association will be a vital voice for their protection. American Humane Association’s mission is to do our utmost to safeguard the animals trained and handled by animal trainers who are hired by the productions and studios. We have been doing this important work for more than 70 years and have been at the forefront of every significant animal welfare advance in filmed entertainment.

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