Animals in Media: A Mission to Transform Animal Welfare in the Entertainment Industry

In the UK there is currently no direct regulation of the use of animals in entertainment and exhibition outside of the licensing scheme for trainers and keepers of animals.

A.i.M are passionate about supporting both the productions and the animal trainers and owners, to ensure that all animal actors, whether they are four legged, feathered or scaly, are taken care of both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Animals in Media (A.i.M), a Community Interest Company founded by Jody Gordon and Laura Jackson, is proud to announce its visionary initiative to establish higher standards of animal welfare in the entertainment and exhibition industries. A.i.M aims to monitor animal use, eradicate archaic practices, and reward productions and trainers that prioritise and improve welfare standards.

The Project
A.i.M have partnered with Human Behaviour Change for Life (HBCL), and are undertaking research, funded by the RSPCA, to explore how they can support and empower professionals working in the media industry, to be leaders in protecting the safety and welfare of animals used in the industry. Now, A.i.M is urging those working in the TV, film, advertising, and live entertainment industries to help shape the future of this innovative new initiative.

A survey has been developed to gain input from those professionals, whether they have had experience with working with animals or not.

Professionals working in these industries, including AD’s, are encouraged to fill out the survey, which can be accessed here. The survey will remain open until July 2nd 2023, and all support is greatly appreciated.

The RSPCA is concerned about the welfare of animals used in exhibition and entertainment such as the production of TV and Film.” states Emma Slawinski, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the RSPCA. “We would welcome positive steps to improve and safeguard the welfare of animals in these settings. An assurance scheme could provide a route for the producers of entertainment using animals to improve welfare and demonstrate their commitment to the animals in their care”. 

While the ultimate solution will be shaped by the industry input gained from the current research, A.i.M proposes one such solution may involve the development and introduction of a tiered certification system for exhibitions and productions. Certification will likely entail ongoing monitoring, including review of event plans or scripts, on-site visits, and post-production evaluations. The assessment process will cover the animals' treatment during the production, their origin and post-production fate, as well as reporting on the ethical impact of using animals within the production.