Pooja Bhatt’s Fish Eye Network Wins PETA India Award for Pledging Never to Use Animals in Films
Mumbai – In response to an appeal from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Fish Eye Network Director Pooja Bhatt has made history by becoming the first film director in the country to pledge never to use live animals in the company’s films. PETA India’s appeal asked that superior technology, such as animatronics, CGI (computer-generated imagery), and visual effects, be used instead of live animals. PETA India has sent Fish Eye Network a Compassionate Film Production Company Award.
A copy of the award is available here.
Unlike willing human performers, animals used in film and television are often carted long distances to stressful sets and subjected to physical punishment, food deprivation, and other abusive training tactics. Many are separated from their mothers as babies, and when not performing, they’re typically caged or chained and denied companionship, psychological stimulation, and proper care. Animals have sustained injuries during filming and even been killed, as was the case when a horse died on the set of Ponniyin Selvan last year.
“Pooja Bhatt knows cruelty to animals is not entertainment and that today, computer-based cinematography and other modern means can be used instead of live animals,” says PETA India Chief Corporate Liaison Pooja Gupta. “No animal should suffer for the screen, and PETA India is calling on the entertainment industry to embrace technology and leave animals in peace.”
Bhatt received a Hero to Animals Award from PETA India last year in recognition of her calls for a ban on horse carriage rides, her work to sterilise and rescue community cats, and her efforts to help animals in many other ways.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – notes that the government body the Animal Welfare Board of India recently issued an advisory urging production companies to replace live animals with digital depictions, citing animal welfare concerns.