AHA Accused of Covering Up Hollywood Animal Deaths

Extensive report details abuse, negligence, and the deliberate downplaying of serious incidents on movie sets

Nov 25, 2013
Outside Magazine
hollywood reporter animals were harmed american human association aha abuse deaths cover up

King the tiger in 'Life of Pi.'    Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Hollywood Reporter published a startling story Monday detailing the American Humane Association's failure to monitor and take action against animal abuse on the set of dozens of major film productions.

In multiple cases, the AHA, which is responsible for granting films their "No Animals Were Harmed" credit, knowingly allowed productions to continue after animals were harmed or put in danger, and even tried to cover up cases of abuse.

The story cites multiple incidents, including one on the set of the Oscar award-winning Life of Pi, where a tiger named King was almost drowned and had to be dragged to safety with a rope.

The AHA representative, The Hollywood Reporter discovered, was actually intimately involved with of the film's top producers and tried to cover up the incident. “I think this goes without saying but DON’T MENTION IT TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICE!” the representative said in an email obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “I have downplayed the f— out of it.”

In another incident, 27 sheep and goats reportedly died n the set of The Hobbit from dehydration, exhaustion, or drowning. 

The list goes on.

A Husky dog was punched repeatedly in its diaphragm on Disney’s 2006 Antarctic sledding movie Eight Below, starring Paul Walker, and a chipmunk was fatally squashed in Paramount’s 2006 Matthew McConaughey-Sarah Jessica Parker romantic comedy Failure to Launch. In 2003, the AHA chose not to publicly speak of the dozens of dead fish and squid that washed up on shore over four days during the filming of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Read the rest of the story here.