Animal holocaust in film : researching the difference in animal welfare in film from 1903 to 2013 with regard to the work of the American Humane Association, established in 1943

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Artiquez, Belen
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Film, Literature and Drama
Dublin Business School
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Animals have been seen as objects that exist only for the purpose of man. They have been used as food, clothing, for medicinal purposes, experiments and entertainment. Being used for food and medicine is seen as a rational explanation for causing harm to non-humans, as it ensures the survival of the human race, yet in entertainment, i.e. circuses, fairs and more recently motion pictures, there is no explicit need for the use and harm of animals. From the on-set, motion pictures have been using and abusing animal actors, often to the point of death. What I intend to research is what established the animal rights issues, how they came about and thus, how animal actors have been treated since the formation of animal rights organisations. Organisations such as the American Humane Association and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) were established to ensure the welfare and rights of animals, but only one organisation that has the right to film sets and guarantee the welfare of animals used in the film industry. I will be exploring whether or not the presence of the AHA has affected, for the better, the lives of animal actors. I intend to do this by researching how they monitor film sets, if there have been allegations of abuse on sets that were monitored and analyse the ratings that have been given to films observed by AHA representatives. Through contact with PETA, the AHA and private animal trainers I will examine what exactly is being done to ensure and guarantee that animals are not being harmed in the making of films.