Animals have been a constant part of multiple films and shows over the years where in some of them, an animal is literally at the center of the story.
But with passing time, it gets more and more difficult to direct them and over the years, there has been a lot of complaints about animal cruelty as well.
Owing to that, an appeal from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been made - and after the group submitted a complaint concerning the recent death of a horse on the set of Ponniyin Selvan – the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) issued an advisory, asking all film producer associations, OTT platform associations, film chambers of commerce, and advertisers to prioritise the use of modern methods such as computer-generated imagery (CGI), visual effects (VFX), and animatronics over live animals to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering. The AWBI is the prescribed authority under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, which authorises the use of animals in films.
“The AWBI has taken a step appropriate for modern times to encourage the use of existing technology in the production of films, TV shows, advertisements, and online content instead of forcing animals to perform. There is a moral responsibility on the part of Indian production companies to use CGI, VFX, and other types of modern technology and follow the example of many renowned Indian and foreign filmmakers,” says PETA India’s Chief Advocacy Officer Khushboo Gupta.
The AWBI advisory observed that stressed animals are often transported to distant locations, where they are exposed to the chaotic conditions of a film set, and that trainers routinely use methods that involve coercion or punishment. Animals used in the entertainment industry are typically separated from their mothers as infants, beaten or starved during training, forced to perform confusing or dangerous tricks, and chained or caged when not being used