Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI Renews Calls for Producers to Stop Using Animals

Posted: 27 November 2013. Updated: 27 November 2013

NOVEMBER 26, 2013

ADI renews calls for producers to stop using animals in film and TV as fresh AHA scandal surfaces

Animal Defenders International (ADI) has renewed its call for a ban on the use of animals in film and TV following an investigation by The Hollywood Reporter (1) revealing a number of instances where harm was caused to animals on big-name films monitored and certified by the American Humane Association (AHA).

The Hollywood Reporter article follow an ADI undercover investigation (2) released earlier this year exposing cruel and brutal training methods including the use of bull hooks and electric shock devices on elephants used for AHA certified film Zookeeper by animal supply company Have Trunk Will Travel.

Reports of animal harm on AHA monitored productions include a tiger almost drowning in Life of Pi, 27 animal deaths during The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and a husky punched repeatedly on Disney’s Eight Below.

Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer: “Animals do not choose to ‘work’ – they are forced into it. ADI has revealed shocking elephant abuse off-set during training, where gentle, intelligent animals are zapped or hit with hooks to force them to perform tricks which will later be used on film. There is no effective way to protect animals in the film and TV industry, so ADI calls on producers to take responsibility and stop using animals altogether.”

The Hollywood Reporter article follows allegations from former AHA employee Barbara Casey that animals were harmed (3) on sets that still received a “No Animals Were Harmed” credit. Barbara claims the AHA “often allows production companies to dictate the method and manner by which AHA operates on set in order to allow the producer maximum flexibility, often times in complete disregard for the safe and humane treatment of animals…”

The Hollywood Reporter claims the AHA justified awarding “No Animals Were Harmed” credits to productions where animals were injured on the grounds that the animals weren’t intentionally harmed or the incidents occurred while cameras weren’t rolling.

Through undercover investigations in Europe and the US, ADI has shown the harsh reality for animals used by the entertainment industry (4). Commonly, companies that use animals in film or TV are unaware of the animal suffering involved. ADI has negotiated responsible animal policies with a number of major companies committing not to use live animals in future productions.


1. The Hollywood Reporter: “No Animals Were Harmed”

2. ADI investigation of Have Trunk Will Travel, animal suppliers for Zookeeper and Water For Elephants

3. American Humane Association under fire for failing to protect animals

4. ADI animals in entertainment

5. Alleged instances described in The Hollywood Reporter’s investigation include the following:
- In an email to a colleague, an American Humane Association monitor confided that a Bengal tiger used in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi “Damn near drowned” on set. The monitor attempted to cover up the incident, saying “I think this goes without saying but DON’T MENTION IT TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICE!” Despite this incident, Life of Pi was awarded the “No Animals Were Harmed” credit. ADI opposed the use of real tigers in the Life of Pi.
- During filming of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 27 animals reportedly perished, including sheep and goats that died from dehydration and exhaustion or from drowning in water-filled gullies, during a hiatus in filming at a New Zealand farm where they were being housed and trained. AHA’s management allegedly resisted investigating, then claimed that because the deaths had taken place during the hiatus, the AHA had no jurisdiction. Despite these animals’ deaths, the AHA’s credit stated it “monitored all of the significant animal action. No animals were harmed during such action.”
- A Husky dog was reportedly punched repeatedly in its diaphragm on Disney’s 2006 Antarctic sledding movie Eight Below, starring Paul Walker, yet the film still received a “No Animals Were Harmed” credit.
- Though a chipmunk was fatally squashed in Paramount’s 2006 Matthew McConaughey-Sarah Jessica Parker romantic comedy Failure to Launch, the production still received a “No Animals Were Harmed” credit.
- Dozens of dead fish and squid were reported to have washed up on shore over four days during the filming of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. According to the AHA rep on set, crewmembers took no precautions to protect marine life when they set off special-effects explosions in the ocean. The article alleges that the AHA chose not to publicly speak of the incident.
- An elderly giraffe died on the set of Zookeeper (ADI undercover investigation of the elephant supplier used for Zookeeper)
- A 5-foot-long shark died after being placed in a small inflatable pool during a Kmart commercial shoot in Van Nuys (ADI calls out Kmart shark death

6. ADI animals in movies and video


Fleur Dawes, +44 (0) 207-630-3344 or +44 (0) 778-555-2548,
Regina Zernay / Amanda Hudson (001) 323-804-9920

Animal Defenders International
With offices in London, Los Angeles and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

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