UPDATE: Based on PETA’s evidence, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected Birds & Animals Unlimited (BAU) and cited it for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
The USDA cited BAU for failing to provide two pigs with skin conditions with adequate veterinary care. The agency also cited BAU for failing to provide dogs who were left outdoors with bedding when overnight temperatures dropped below 50 degrees (!!!)
BAU, operated by Hollywood animal trainer Gary Gero, provides animals for use in film, television, and advertisements.
BAU has rented out animals to hundreds of productions, including The Hangover, Marley and Me, Game of Thrones, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
An eyewitness who worked at BAU documented chronic neglect, including sick and injured animals who went without adequate veterinary care, filthy enclosures, and animals who were denied food so that they would be hungry when being trained to do tricks.
BAU has a training facility near Acton, California, and its “retirement” facility is in Lake Wales, Florida.
Dogs, including one who BAU staff said, was used in the movie Hotel for Dogs, were kept outside, and denied bedding, even when temperatures dropped into the low 40s.
Those who staff claimed were used in The Solutrean and CBS’ Zoo was housed alone in kennels on hard concrete floors.
Snoop, a geriatric, ailing dog believed to have been used in the film “Marmaduke”, was frequently left outside overnight in temperatures below 50 degrees.
After testing positive for heartworm and months of refusing to eat, vomiting, losing weight, and bleeding from his paws (apparently from his nails), he lost control of his bowel movements and was finally euthanized.
An owl named Crash, who BAU staff claimed was used in the Harry Potter movies, was kept in a feces-strewn enclosure that went uncleaned for at least six weeks.
He and other birds of prey lived in inadequate, small enclosures and were deprived of both sensory stimulation and socialization.
Penguins who BAU employees said were used in Batman Returns were denied fresh drinking water. Their only source of water was a chlorinated pool.
Punky, a pig with severely overgrown hooves, went nearly two weeks without corrective trimming after the eyewitness pointed out her condition.
The trimmer—a layperson, not a veterinarian—told the ranch manager that Punky had arthritis, but the pig received no pain relief or medication for the condition and, to the eyewitness’ knowledge, was not seen by a veterinarian.
Quite often animals die for the film shoot – like one pigeon here of Birds and Animals Unlimited Acton
Gary Gero is one of Hollywood’s best-known animal trainers. He makes his money by lending a variety of animals to films and series such as “Game Of Thrones”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “The Hangover” and “Marmaduke”.
In addition to the training facility, Gero also runs a “sanctuary”. But that only seems to be a cover to make even more profit from the animals: Employees reported that animals were adopted from animal shelters under false information in order to lend them to film and television productions.
The situation at BAU apparently remained undetected for years.
In the course of most cinema films in which animals play, the notice of the “American Humane Association” (AHA) “No animals were harmed …” appears.
The AHA is responsible for monitoring the welfare of animals on the set.
Unfortunately, it often fails to adhere to its own guidelines because it is often put under pressure by producers. The AHA is financed by an association of filmmakers and artists – and thus controls itself, so to speak.
Apart from that, the training of animals for film and television usually takes place long before the actual production takes place.
The “seal of approval” of the AHA, therefore, says nothing more than that the animals were not beaten in the presence of a representative of the AHA.
The fact is that most animal abuse does not occur on the set but during the previous training.
As a result, even in a film that the AHA classifies as “acceptable”, the public is unaware of the cruelty to animals that took place behind the scenes.
For these reasons, the AHA seal is completely worthless and you cannot trust it as a cinema-goer.
If you watch a film or a series with animals, you can never be sure under what conditions the animals were kept and trained. Therefore, it is best to boycott such films and instead support filmmakers who work without animals or with computer-generated CGI animals.
My comment and information: Who thinks that the animal actors are treated like their human counterparts is totally wrong.
Instead of special treatment appropriate to the species, the opposite is usually the case.
Over the years, at least 15 young chimpanzees have been used in the production of the television program “Unser Charly” (German production).
In 2012 the last episode of the TV series was broadcast on public television ZDF.
PETA Germany fought for over ten years to stop the series production.
As early as 2004, PETA discovered that a chimpanzee from the ZDF series had been deported to the pseudo-sanctuary Amarillo Wildlife Refuge in Texas, which is known for unsanitary conditions, cage, and individual husbandry and lack of employment opportunities for animals.
Lonely: Chimpanzee Walter of the TV- series “Our Charly” in the Amarillo Wildlife Refuge / © PETA USA
In 2002, the television magazine “HÖRZU” published an article about the television program “Unser Charly”. Among other things, it reports that the journalist and several actors in the series watched a chimpanzee being disciplined with punches while filming.
Remember this viral video of a dog being forced into rushing water on the set of “A Dog’s Purpose ”? On his podcast, Dennis Quaid said that the dog “loved it.”
We mean: it’s cruelty to animals! that and the whole animal film industry.
Watch again, Dennis! He was terrified. This is NOT a dog’s purpose—they aren’t props, they’re individuals.
My best regards to all, Venus