What if animals ARE harmed in the making of a film?

This came up because I was watching State and Main the other night, which includes the following joke in the credits

and then later has the standard disclaimer.

It seems like just about every movie has “No animals were harmed in the making of this film,” but how could that possibly be the case?

I found this old thread that asks this question along with some others (and links to Cecil’s explanation of how animal violence is often faked), but the question of what happens when animals are accidentally harmed remains unanswered. Cecil’s explanation mentions movies that are blacklisted by the AHA for not allowing their representative on the shoot, but doesn’t mention anything about what would happen if an animal were accidentally harmed.

I find it impossible that there aren’t animals injured or killed while making movies. I mean, there are people injured and killed while making movies all the time. Yet, I’ve never seen a serious disclaimer that mentions any actual animal harm. Can any of our resident film and animal lovers answer this?

Hey, that animal lovers link didn’t go where I thought it would!

Check out this link for answers to your questions. Basically, if an animal is harmed in a shooting that wasn’t AH authorized they won’t allow their imprimatur on the end-product.

As near as I can tell, that means that a movie can receive the “No animals were harmed…” even if an animal was harmed, as long as AH didn’t foresee the accident. (I believe i’ve read cases in which an animal got hurt due to a freak accident, got immediate vet care, and AH was okay with the movie because everyone had done all they could).


An accident is an accident. If the production follows all of the AHA guidelines, and an animal gets hurt in an unavoidable, unforseeable freak accident, they still get the AHA disclaimer.

The AHA will even go to bat for a production if they’re compliant. “All actors and crew who worked with the animals here were trained in safe handling. Unfortunately, an actress had a stroke and collapsed while holding a hamster, and the hamster was crushed. This isn’t anybody’s fault.”

The disclaimer still goes on the credits, because the hypothetical hamster wasn’t harmed for the making of the film – it was just an unfortunate accident.

If the guidelines aren’t met, then stamp of approval from the AHA.

I was watching this old Jackie Chan movie where a cat fights a cobra and you could clearly see they had a rope tied to the snake so it didn’t kill the cat it was pretty funny stuff. Plus the cat jumped about 3 feet in the air.

I always wondered how the pulled off Mongo punching the horse in Blazing saddles.

That was pretty much what I expected. I just think it’s odd that they would say “No animals were harmed in the making of this movie.”

Why not something like: “A representative from the AHA monitored the filming, and the filmmakers complied with all AHA guidlines for the prevention of cruelty to animals.”

I know, it’s nitpicky.

Horses are trained to fall like that on command. I doubt Alex Caras even touched the horse.

Not to be pedantic, but the name is Alex Karras