AWBI advisory for replacing animals in films, PETA India lauds the move

PETA India, whose motto reads, in part, 'Animals are not ours to use for entertainment,' has been pursuing avoidance of the use of physical animals in films, television shows, advertisements and digital platforms as it received complaints from various sources.

Nava J Thakuria

Guwahati: As Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) recently issued an advisory asking all film producers, over-the-top platform associations, film chambers of commerce and also the advertisers to prioritize the use of modern methods such as computer-generated imagery, visual effects and animatronics replacing live animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India lauded the move.


Mentionable is that AWBI, which is the prescribed authority under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, is dedicated to promote activities related to animal welfare. PETA India, whose motto reads, in part, ‘Animals are not ours to use for entertainment,’ has been pursuing avoidance of the use of physical animals in films, television shows, advertisements and digital platforms as it received complaints from various sources.


“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,” said PETA India’s Chief Advocacy Officer Khushboo Gupta, adding that there is a moral responsibility on the part of Indian production companies to use CGI, VFX, and other types of modern technology to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering of animals.


The concerned advisory narrated that the animals are often transported into 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.


Following a complaint from PETA India, that was based on a whistle-blower’s report that a horse was involved in a head-on collision and died during the shooting of Ponniyin Selvan movie, AWBI called on the district collector of Hyderabad and Telangana State Animal Welfare Board to conduct a fair probe into the incident. AWBI also asked the officials to ensure that the culprits get exemplary punishment in order to deter such crimes in the future.

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