An “endangered species" is a species in danger of extinction while a threatened species is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future. On the set of "Horse Whisperer" (1998), a distressed crew member collared the AHA monitor. Unfortunately, such anti-cruelty laws are ineffective against those depicting animal cruelty in films since it is difficult to identify the individual in the film. They demanded X-rays of the horses' bones to check for unsuspected weaknesses. However, the AWA does not protect all animals. While current federal law bans the sale or distribution of videos showing animals being crushed, burned or tortured, it does not prohibit the underlying conduct. Reproduction of material from any Salon pages without written permission is strictly prohibited. Although generally prohibiting the same activities as endangered species, special rules sometimes allow otherwise prohibited activities. Enacted to protect animals exhibited to the public, the AWA regulates “exhibitors.” An exhibitor is any person exhibiting any animal to the public for compensation. Second, for threatened species, the ESA does not expressly prohibit any activities. Animal Crush Videos. She calls those “the dark days.” Because the AHA wasn't on set, they couldn't prove that two mules were killed on the Spanish set of "Patton" (1970), in a scene in which Gen.Patton shoots two mules blocking a bridge, but throughout the 1970s, the AHA's list of “unacceptable” movies cites a litany of “animals killed for entertainment,” “horses wire tripped,” “mistreatment of animals,” and “live snake sliced into pieces.”. Since then, they say, the incidence of accidents, illnesses and deaths of animals on sets has sharply declined, although there are still occasional violators, especially when filming takes place overseas (some of Werner Herzog's films, which often include scenes of simulated animal cruelty, have aroused suspicions). Each had an identical bloody wound, all superb examples of prosthetics. The AHA Film & TV Unit isn't paid by the individual producers of film and TV shows, but gets most of its budget from a yearly grant from the Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund (IACF). ------------------------------------------. The horses in "Jesse James" were wearing movie blinkers with eyes painted on them. This was the single biggest turning point in the history of Hollywood's treatment of animals. It wasn't a good gig for animal actors, either. It was good news for the movies, but not for animal welfare. Just an accident. Additionally, it can be argued that film producers may meet this definition but neither case law nor any statute explicitly states this theory. Most Hollywood horses were less famous, less recognizable, and often disposable. “I read these articles about horse racing and they're talking about levels of drugs in the horses' systems. The law also bans "animal crush videos," meaning any photograph, motion picture film, video or digital recording or electronic image that depicts animal cruelty. No.” The guidelines were changed. Naturally, she killed him. MGL c.140, § 174F Leaving an animal in a hot or cold vehicle; removing an animal in danger from a vehicle; MGL c.266, § 112 Maliciously killing or injuring a domestic animal; MGL c.272, § 77 Animal cruelty; Bestiality. Beginning in the 1920s the motion-picture industry boomed, developing new genres as it went. And on the far side of the corral were four similar-looking horses. It was also claimed that cattle were killed and gutted so their innards could double for those of human actors. This time it fell over backward, and landed on its head. [116th Congress Public Law 72] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] [[Page 133 STAT. The studio system arose, concentrating filmmaking in a handful of dictatorially efficient corporations employing thousands and turning out movies at a tremendous rate. Overview of Laws Concerning Animals in Film Media, Vincent Rizzo, AWA, Animal Welfare Act, exhibitor, ESA, endangered species, film, movie, production, Hollywood, cruelty, depiction of cruelty, AHA, American Humane Association, no animal were harmed, entertainment, Motion Picture Association of America, S. The truth was nothing was that simple or savage. In those days you could do almost anything to an animal (or an actor, for that matter). Hart was “badly shaken” by the fall, wrote Petrine Day Mitchum in "Hollywood Hoofbeats," but once edited, the footage of falling man and “horse” was chillingly spectacular – so much so that the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Organization, aka the Hays Office, called Hart in to explain why he had been so cruel to Fritz. 1151]] Public Law 116-72 116th Congress An Act To revise section 48 of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes. Only those movie producers who own, or transport and receive remuneration for the animal actors, seem to constitute “exhibitors.”. Word about the deaths got out and there was a tremendous furor. Horses were killed or injured in a battle scene. AHA's guidelines evolve, sometimes in the light of new research, sometimes in the light of experience. Mainly, the AHA enforces a set of guidelines that producers must follow when using animal actors. Fritz was one of the exceptions to the rule. Were animals being abused? First, the ESA grants the Secretary permission to issue enhancement of survival permits. It is clear that private parties renting animals to film studios meet this definition. Animal crush videos are depictions of violence against animals where, generally, the face of the human is not shown but only the violence or act of cruelty perpetrated on the animals. Varies town to town. Now you could have actors curse. This overview summarizes the state and federal laws that protect animals used in film production. (But see YouTube for counter-examples. These acts of extreme animal cruelty are videotaped, and the resulting video tapes are commonly referred to as ‘animal crush videos’. In 2010, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act was signed into law, banning the creation, sale, and distribution of “crush” videos: films in which small animals are tortured, mutilated, and killed, usually as part of a sexual fetish. Divergent approaches to laws concerning animal cruelty occur in different jurisdictions throughout the world. But I didn't include any of these films to the list, because in my list here, the films must solely be about this subject. Take Thomas Edison's elephant electrocution as a starting point. After the second horse died during "Luck's" shooting, the AHA increased its precautions. Apparently the horses were being treated well, with greater care than actual working racehorses. Since 2010, Congress has passed two federal anti-cruelty laws that punish animal abusers by using its Commerce Clause powers. They used pitfalls, or tripwires to make horses fall, and there were also some stunt horses, who would fall at a signal. Videos like these have been spotted on at least 150 channels which have more than 1.2 billion views. In summary, the use of animals in film or television is not directly addressed by any federal or state law. Claim: In November 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the PACT Act, which made several kinds of animal cruelty a federal felony. The legislation strengthens a 2010 law called the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which made the creation, sale and distribution of videos depicting extreme acts of animal cruelty a … Yet the majority of the nearly 10 billion land-based animals, plus countless more aquatic animals, farmed for food each year in the U.S. live in unacceptable conditions that do not align with consumers’ stated values. These permits may allow parties to "take" endangered or threatened species for use in films that enhance the survival of the species. “It was very warm ... and the bird didn't make it. Trained horses jumped through windows or through flames. The end of the Hays Code contributed to the rise of the New Hollywood, a golden age of moviemaking. They rampaged through saloons. This animal protection measure sailed through the House of Representatives and the Senate with unanimous support and was just signed by the president. The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, a federal anti-cruelty bill, is now law. There was a push for a gritty realism in those days in filmmaking. Were people being careless? These laws normally prevent individuals from intentionally inflicting substantial pain on any animal. The Hays Office, well known for prissy extremes such as insisting that marital bedrooms feature twin beds and that Betty Boop dress more modestly, also banned apparent animal cruelty. Animal actors were part of the process. Law (2 days ago) Another federal anti-cruelty law prohibits animal fighting. Beautifully trained, Fritz would fall on command, lie down to act as a shield in a gunfight, even play scenes with a monkey. Gritty realism produced two of the most notorious animal welfare abuses in Hollywood history: In "Apocalypse Now" (1979), a real water buffalo was slaughtered with a machete (though it has been claimed that the buffalo was going to be slaughtered in this manner anyhow), and although the movie got great reviews, it caused a lot of upset. President Trump signed the Protect Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, H.R. See Law about sex: bestiality; Burying a pet in your backyard. Federal Anti-Cruelty Laws | National Anti-Vivisection Society. Farm Animals Need Our Help. This seems unfair and crass to most people today, but the idea was to find the most merciful way to kill Topsy. Only general anti-cruelty laws and laws preventing the depiction of animal cruelty limitedly apply to animal actors. Limited state cruelty laws are also discussed as well as industry standards. Only the federal AWA and ESA as well as state cruelty laws and state animal cruelty depiction laws indirectly touch upon the issue. What are animal cruelty laws and how are farmed animals excluded? Additionally, the ESA protects extinct or threatened animal actors. But on a film shoot in the late '90s a bird was tranquilized on a set. The boycott was taken up across the U.S. by local humane groups -- and this time there were no voices sticking up for the artistic merit of the film. (4) “ Custody ” includes responsibility for the health, safety, and welfare of an animal subject to the person's care and control, regardless of ownership of the animal. We wouldn't let the horse run even three-eighths of a mile for filming with drugs in its system.”. 724, into law on Monday, after the bill received bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House of … Edison electrocuted Topsy with alternating current to show how dangerous it was, part of his feud with Nicola Tesla, and released "Electrocuting an Elephant" (1903). A horse with a bloody wound, she reported. Unable to see, the horses had no idea they were running off a 75-foot cliff over white water until it was too late. All rights reserved. AHA doesn't have to look out for tripwires or pitfalls. It was in such spirits that it reared up as horses sometimes do. Most importantly, the ESA makes it unlawful to “take” any endangered species within the United States. (That's a statement about animal welfare, not animal rights. "This is a monumental and much-needed change to the state’s animal protection laws," Stanley added. Sometimes individual horses became known, and they were protected because of their fame, and because the actors loved them. Among other things, the AHA’s Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media governs the following areas: general guidelines; veterinary care guidelines; guidelines for productions, cast, and crew; reality programming; costumes, makeup, rigging and props; location and/or set safety; special effects; stunts; and species-specific guidelines. No, I'm not going to give URLs.). Starting in 1940, the AHA was granted access to sets. But that didn't keep the show from being canceled – or critics from speaking out. We just said, you know what? “We want to make sure that they're not stressed, and they're well rested,” says Rosa. Topsy, like the producers of "Luck," was charged with causing three deaths. Such standards and regulations focus on housing, handling, sanitation, nutrition, water, veterinary care, and protection from extreme weather and temperatures. The charity claims these videos are in violation of YouTube's community guidelines. Married couples could be shown in the same bed. In the corral! Even before the third horse death, PETA charged that “two dead horses in a handful of episodes exemplify the dark side of using animals in television, movies, and ads.” Like all filming in the U.S., "Luck" was shot under supervision of the American Humane Association's Film & TV Unit, the people who certify that “No animal was harmed in the making” of a film or TV show. The footage was impressive, the stuntman was well-paid, and the horses were dead. Now they know they can call in the AHA. This site is not a law firm and cannot offer legal advice. The AHA, which hadn't been allowed on the set, led a boycott of the film, with picket lines. Reynolds signed the Community and Pet Protection Act into law on Monday, strengthening Iowa’s animal cruelty laws. If acceptable, the AHA grants permission for the motion picture to use the end credit disclaimer “No Animals Were Harmed.” Despite these guidelines, conflicts of interest, lack of enforcement, man-power issues, and the limited reach of the AHA severely hinder the ability of the AHA to properly protect animal actors. The AWA require such “exhibitors” to obtain a license and may do so only if the facility is in compliance with all AWA standards and regulations. In 1968 the Hays Code was dumped, mostly because it was ridiculous. Similarly, at the state level, no laws directly target those abusing animal actors. https://www.peta.org/teachkind/humane-classroom/animal-friendly-class-movies With respect to these animals, the law bans the intentional: crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impalement, or; serious harming of them. “They were greater than those ordinarily found on the racetrack, and they were greater than those on any filming previously.” But horses are prone to do silly things, he says. As a further protection, during filming, the AHA monitors all filming, advises production on safety issues; documents all animal action and care; and serves as an independent, professional, objective witness to the treatment and well-being of animal actors. In reaction to the outcry, the Hays Office worked with the AHA to write guidelines for animal performances. Movies such as the "Faces of Death" series, "Shocking Asia" series and the "Mondo Cane" series also tend to have scenes of animal cruelty. Every state has laws banning animal cruelty. The third horse was reportedly in good health and high spirits the day it died. Western star William S. Hart had a famous pinto, Fritz. Younger filmmakers were creating realistic and daring movies, with more subtlety and less dependence on formula, contributing to a cinematic renaissance and a move toward realism and location shooting -- and, sadly, more problems with animals. They legally empowered the AHA to monitor how animals are treated in Screen Actors Guild movies, television, commercials, and music shows. Gov. There stood a horse with a bloody wound. All this was at the regular cost of injury or death. Films were submitted to the office before release to get a certificate of approval and often changes were demanded before a certificate was issued. All states have laws preventing animal cruelty that generally apply to animals used in filmed media. When the wires were cut, the two toppled into the gorge. If you don't think animals should be filmed for entertainment at all, you're not going to like AHA. "Heaven's Gate" (1980), the notorious flop, came out a year later -- such an expensive failure that it put United Artists out of business. When HBO's "Luck" was canceled after a third horse died during production, it was natural to ask what was going on. They asked Rick Arthur, a veterinarian and director of the California Racing Board, to review their protocols. Copyright © 2019 Salon.com, LLC. Frequently mocked, it has probably also created a widespread awareness of animal welfare as a significant issue. Rather, the ESA requires the agency to issue regulations that promote the conservation of threatened species. A horse was killed in an explosion. “(5) The Supreme Court of the United States has long held that obscenity is an exception to speech protected under the First … We were banned from film sets. They went to the corral. Hart was filmed galloping to the edge on Fritz, at which point, on cue, the horse did a fall to one side. There have always been people in Hollywood who care about animals and want to see them treated well. In fact, film producers may avoid the ESA through multiple avenues. Before it was released in the U.K., the RSPCA protested that it violated the Cinematograph (Animals) Act. "The link between animal cruelty and other criminal activity is well established. The popularity of westerns was particularly hard on horses. Federal law had previously only prohibited animal fighting and only criminalized animal cruelty if the wrongdoers create and sell videos depicting the act. In polling, 94% of Americans agree that animals raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty. For example, some laws govern methods of killing animals for food, clothing, or other products, and other laws concern the keeping of animals for entertainment, education, research, or pets. Reports of animal abuse in the entertainment industry question the legal protections of animal actors. 18 Susan McCarthy is a San Francisco freelance writer and the author, with Jeffrey Masson, of "When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals.". This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Associated Press articles: Copyright © 2016 The Associated Press. In response, a select few states specifically criminalize the filming of animal cruelty including California, Illinois, and Maine. “I thought they were actually very good precautions,” he said. Zookeeper is a comedy starring Kevin James as a unlucky-in-love worker. Before production even begins, the AHA reviews scripts, looking for potential problem situations, and advises the producers on how to handle the animal action they plan. Beyond these indirect legal protections, the Motion Picture Association of America directly addressed the problem of animal abuse in filmed media. Rights affecting non-human animals vary greatly by country or jurisdiction — encompassing everything from the legal recognition of non-human animal sentience to the absolute lack of any anti-cruelty laws with no regard for animal welfare.. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003) One of Disney's most popular movies … However, the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) as well as state cruelty laws and state animal cruelty depiction laws indirectly apply to animal actors. Early Hollywood was an anarchic world, with upstart production companies launching grandiose projects on every side. All you can blame is the fragile frame of the thoroughbred horse, which was created for racing. SALON ® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a trademark of Salon.com, LLC. The goal is to crack down on offenders and keep animals … With the advent of sound in 1927 profits took off. The many exceptions to the ESA significantly limit its reach. The only regulation directly protecting animal actors is the industry-based American Humane Association’s (AHA) guidelines. Once again public anger led to sweeping changes. (5) “ Depredation ” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.001, Parks and Wildlife Code . Animals have also been hunted using cruel ways, and in some cases, the animals can also be seen being eaten alive solely for entertainment purposes. These laws prohibit individuals from knowingly creating, selling, marketing, possessing a film depicting animal cruelty. Filmmakers did whatever struck them as a great idea. Then he was led away and replaced by the fake Fritz, held up with wire. Other horses were allegedly bled to provide gore for humans to be smeared with. The new federal legislation is intended to expand a 2010 federal ban on videos showing animal abuses, a law that failed to make actual cruelty to animals a federal crime. Importantly, these inspectors gained significant independence from the industry itself. These laws generally also cover animal neglect and consequently, penalize those that fail to provide their animals with necessary sustenance. These laws prohibit individuals from knowingly creating, selling, marketing, possessing a film depicting animal cruelty. The only animal actor specific regulation is the industry-based AHA’s guidelines but the vast limitations indicate it may not be enough protection. In 1988 the AHA published a set of guidelines for film and TV production. And they didn't like to be told they could or could not do something with animals,” says Karen Rosa, vice-president of the AHA's Film & TV Unit. The early days were rough. © 2020 Michigan State University College of Law. Each State in Australia has its own animal welfare legislation. The Hays Code didn't return, but AHA monitors came back on sets through a contract with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the “No animals were harmed ...” disclaimer came into being. Directors showed lots of falls. In 1939 two horses were killed in the filming of "Northwest Mounted Police" and two more in "Jesse James." Like rearing up and falling over backward. Animal fighting ventures are “any event, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, that involves a fight conducted or to be conducted between at least 2 animals for purposes of sport, wagering, or entertainment”. Once licensed, exhibitors must continue to comply with all AWA standards and regulations including recordkeeping, paying annual fees, inspecting, marking and identifying animals and complying with specified humane standards. (1) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized in law, he or she intentionally (a) inflicts substantial pain on, (b) causes physical injury to, or (c) kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering or while manifesting an extreme indifference to life, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal. Westerns were a staple in '20s and '30s Hollywood, and then boomed in the 1940s. The federal AWA and ESA are analyzed as to how they might apply to animals used in film media. Taking means “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.”. Dramas, comedies, adventure stories, musicals, biographies – all would use animals, but the genre that used the most was the western. Ben-Hur (1925) With their whirling, Batmobile-style wheel-destroyers, the chariot races in 1959’s Ben … Nobody even seems to care! 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