The American Humane Association is responsible for ‘No Animals Were Harmed’ disclaimer you see at the end of films and TV shows. The AHA is the only agency that monitors the treatment of animals on set. But are they doing their job? The disclaimers are not accurate according to the Hollywood Reporter, the following did happen.
- A Bengal tiger, used whenever CGI wasn’t effective, almost drowned on the set of “Life of Pi.”
- Three thoroughbreds died during the production of HBO’s horse-racing drama “Luck” and under the AHA’s supervision, which was canceled shortly after the third horse was euthanized after sustaining major head injuries.
- A Husky dog was repeatedly punched by a trainer on the set of “Eight Below.” The AHA said the force was necessary to stop a dog fight.
- An animal handler dropped a chipmunk, stepped on it, thus killing it during the production of “Failure to Launch.”
- More than two dozen animals, including sheep and goats, perished from dehydration and exhaustion during a hiatus in the production of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
Barbara Casey, a former high-ranking official in the AHA’s Studio City-based Film & TV Unit. Casey oversaw the AHA’s on-set safety representatives for 13 years before her dismissal in January 2012. She has filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit alleging she was fired for aggressively standing up to HBO and producers over safety issues regarding their ill-fated racetrack drama Luck, on which several horses died. (The AHA and HBO deny her claims.)
In rebuttal, Barbara Casey founded the nonprofit Movie Animals Protected, set to launch in January, is standing up to AHA and will be more transparent and responsive to on-set animal injuries and deaths.