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Guidelines for Production, Cast and Crew

American Humane’s Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media apply to anyone bringing an animal to the filming location. This includes non-working animals. All guidelines, including, but not limited to, proof of vaccination, adequate housing, food, water, exercise, prevention of escape, supervision and temperature regulations, shall be followed. 

NOTE: Also see Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Safety Bulletin #8 and Addenda A and B, “Guidelines for Insert Camera Cars”; Safety Bulletin #22, “Work and Boom Platforms”; and Safety Bulletin #25, “Camera Cranes.”

3-1 Quiet on the Set: At the animal handler’s discretion, all non-essential personnel, with the exception of the American Humane Certified Animal Safety Representative(s), may be removed from the set during animal stunts, intense action or whenever any species of exotic animals are performing. (Also see Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Safety Bulletin #6, “Animal Handling Rules for the Motion Picture Industry,” paragraph 3.)

3-2 Cast and crew shall not be allowed to pet, feed or play with animals off-camera if the animal handler or American Humane Certified Animal Safety Representative believes it is unsafe or not in the best interest of the animals. 

3-3 As necessary for the concentration and safety of the animals, cast and crew members shall limit distracting motions, noises and smells, such as food and perfume. 

a. In some cases, catering services may need to be moved away from the animal action. 

b. Animal handlers shall provide production and American Humane with pertinent instructions in writing for each species and/or individual animal, as appropriate. These instructions must be attached to the call sheet. 

3-5.1 No animal should, at any time or for any reason, be left in a vehicle or trailer without proper ventilation/temperature regulation, nor should any animal be improperly tethered*. Animals should never be left unattended or unsecured in a manner that would be unsafe or uncomfortable for the animal. Check specific state and local laws and regulations, as tethering laws vary. Animals shall not be left in the care of any person who is inexperienced in the proper care of the animals. 

3-6.1 Non-working animals brought as pets to the filming location by cast, crew, guests or extras are discouraged. 

a. A film set is considered an industrial area with numerous safety hazards for animals. Because cast and crew are working, American Humane believes this is not a suitable environment for pets, as they cannot be supervised and cared for appropriately. 

b. Should non-working animals be brought to the filming location by cast, crew, guests or extras, the animals must be contained and/or restrained and supervised at all times. 

c. Non-working animals brought to the filming location by cast, crew, guests or extras shall not be allowed on the set where working animals are or will be present. 

* Notes a federal, state or local animal welfare statue, code or permit consideration.