Films are made to capture the imagination of the audience, and to tell a compelling story. In many films, the starring cast is not made up entirely of humans; animals have played a large role in the film business since the beginning of film. Whether the movie is about an animal or simply includes animals in a scene, the use of animals in film has a long standing tradition. Of course, one of the main concerns while shooting a film is safety for the cast and crew, and this has normally been especially true for animals.
Films containing animals normally have a disclaimer at the beginning or end ensuring the audience that no animals were hurt in the production of the film. This has been controlled by the American Humane Society since the beginning. They have been the ones that monitor scenes with animals and inspect to make sure the animals are treated humanely and kept alive. There is new evidence, however, that the AHA has not always reported animal abuse or mistreatment. During some more recent films, events involving animals have gotten media attention at times due to the danger the animal was put in. These films, however, stlll received the stamp of approval from the AHA. How is this possible? In some cases, animals have died while being used to produce a film.
The AHA has fallen into the habit or ignoring the rules they themselves set. With more attention being drawn to the safety of the animals in our films, one hopes that the AHA will get back to its original purpose.