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Animal Acting makes the well-being of animals our first priority and have maintain the highest standards of treatment and care at all times.

Our guidelines have been produced in conjunction with the British Veterinary Association, RSPCA, ATHA, British Board of Film Censors and the British Film Producers Association.


Production Guidelines for the use of Animals in the Media


The use of animals in the main will not require prior consultation with either the RSPCA or a BVA member as the task to be carried out will be straightforward and/or transient. However, Item 17 below should always apply. Where the proposed use of an animal is extensive or complex or there is any doubt then the following guidelines should be applied.


  1. Relevant script pages, storyboards and/or proposed animal action should be submitted with the official order if available. Copies of these should be forwarded to the RSPCA and/or an appointed BVA member with the relevant experience in the species to be used. Following consultation and approval one or both of the parties should supervise all filming as appropriate.
  2. Under no circumstances should pain, suffering, distress or any form of discomfort be inflicted upon any animal.
  3. Animals must at all times be supervised by competent staff with the relevant experience in the species being used. The RSPCA and/or the appointed BVA member shall be afforded access to the animals at all times.
  4. Animals to be used shall be suitable for the task required of them and be in good health and condition. A BVA member shall determine health and condition.
  5. No drugs of any description shall be used on animals other than those prescribed by a BVA member. Tranquillisers, anaesthetics and/or sedatives shall not be used solely for the purpose of effect for filming.
  6. There shall be no simulated violence and/or visual incitement direct or indirect towards any animal.
  7. There shall be no visual representation of irresponsibility with regards unacceptable behaviour and/or environments.
  8. The handler, RSPCA and/or BVA member shall determine rest and/or exercise periods. An appropriate area should be set aside solely for this purpose.
  9. The appropriate animal feed and water should be made available to the animals in order to sustain them.
  10. Animals should have access to appropriate housing/caging/stabling etc when not required by filming, which should be in a quiet undisturbed area.
  11. Persons not directly involved with the care of animals should not be allowed to associate or feed them unless given the specific permission of the handler/trainer.
  12. Actors and animals who are to work together shall be given ample time to associate and/or rehearse.
  13. Production staff should exercise extreme patience at all times when working with animals.
  14. Only staff that are absolutely necessary should be in attendance when an animal is working.
  15. Animals should be given adequate rehearsal time prior to performing any task.
  16. Care should always be taken when casting Actors, to be certain that they are fully aware of the tasks, which they are to perform with the animals. They should also be assessed by the Animal Co-ordinator where any actor is to ride an animal or be in direct contact with any animal, which is listed as requiring a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence.
  17. All animals shall be adequately insured and be covered by at least one of the following: A Performing Animals Certificate, Dangerous Wild Animals Licence, the appropriate Movement Order and comply with Local Authority By-laws/Conditions.
  18. All Health and Safety Rules should be strictly enforced and measures taken to keep all persons not associated with the production at a safe distance from any animal whilst working or resting.