Letter to the Editor: Harming animal actors
Last year during the filming of the recently released movie Flicka, two horses were killed on the set. Ironically, this remake is being marketed to horse lovers, but anyone who believes that animals shouldn't pay with their lives for the sake of a movie should stay away.
Most animal "actors" are kept in extreme confinement and deprived of all that is natural to them, including companionship with others of their species and a spacious, enriching environment. Animal experts and protection agencies agree that many animals will only perform confusing and difficult routines when trained with threats of physical punishment and fear. Additionally, because of their fragile bodies and susceptibility to being frightened, horses are at risk of being seriously harmed when forced to perform.
Animal injuries and deaths on movie and TV sets are entirely avoidable. An explosion of technology in the past few years has afforded producers the opportunity to substitute realistic simulations for live animals.