PETA is asking law enforcement to investigate the alleged animal-cruelty and animal-abuse claims surrounding a popular Hollywood animal-training facility. The five-acre site has provided animals for films like “The Hangover” trilogy, “Harry Potter,” “Marley & Me,” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. The facility also provides animals for TV series like “Game of Thrones,” and the CBS series “Zoo”. That CBS series has been on PETAs watchlist for since it season one.
According to a statement released by PETA earlier today, a former BAU employee documented the findings and reported them to the animal-rights organization. PETA has reached out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), sighting the facility’s apparent violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
According to PETA these violations include
· Animals were denied food during training. Two cats who staff said were used in the upcoming film Benji were denied food for several days because a trainer said that they were “fat,” causing them to lose 5 percent of their bodyweight in five days.
· Three pigs were severely underweight, including one who staff said appeared in College Road Trip and was denied licensed veterinary care for multiple, often bloody sores on her side.
· Dogs, including one who staff said was used in Hotel for Dogs and others who staff said were used in the upcoming film The Solutrean, were left outside overnight without any bedding, even when temperatures dropped to 43 degrees.
· BAU told the USDA that a kangaroo had “returned” to Texas, but a manager admitted that the animal had died at the facility after sustaining a broken jaw and being unable to eat.
· Enclosures housing birds of prey—including an owl who staff said was featured in the Harry Potter films—contained droppings that hadn’t been cleaned up for at least six weeks.
· By the time the eyewitness left BAU, the facility had apparently not had an attending veterinarian for approximately one month.
BAU employees also told PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—that they deceived the animal shelters from which they obtained dogs, pretending to adopt the animals rather than revealing that they would be used in productions. PETA released the video below, after filing with USDA.
“Animals used for film and television have been neglected, left hungry, and treated like disposable props,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA’s message to producers is that they have no idea what happens off set—so the only way to ensure that a production is humane is to keep it animal-free.”