We have all seen the ending credits of movies and television shows that feature animals. They will state, usually that is, that no animals were harmed during the making of this film. It leaves the viewer in a satisfied state believing that all the animals were treated kindly and as their own pets. But the reality is not as clear cut, and much darker than many would think.
The body that certifies whether or not a film may use the credit, “no animals were harmed” is the American Humane Association (AHA). They will observe the treatment of animals in films, and issue the authority to use the credit. Unfortunately all is not what it always seems. There have been numerous cases in which animals have been injured or even died during the course of a films production.
For a film to be allowed to display the “no animals were harmed” notice on their credits the guidelines suggest that there is absolutely no injury or death sustained by any animal. Such big budget feature films such as Failure to Launch and War Horse have seen the deaths of animals. Others in this list that were permitted to broadcast the claim of no animals were harmed include The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Both these films accounted for in excess of a dozen injuries or deaths. So why did they get the accreditation?
It seems for a film to be allowed to say that no animals were harmed during the making of a film the injury has to actually take place during filming and not be serious. This conclusion was reached by many experts in the industry because of a statement released by the AHA following the injuries of animals in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. But everything aside, there is a safety record of 99.8 percent on set, and the AHA would like to see that figure reach 100 percent.