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New Rules apply to Screen Animals
15 Oct 1998 :

New rules are to be introduced to ensure the safety and well being of animals being used in film-making here following questions raised on the issue by the Wicklow TD Liz McManus in the Dail. It is believed the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Sile deValera, is to link how animals are treated on a shoot with the requirements of certification for availing of tax breaks.

Animals have featured in several recent productions in Ireland including 'Braveheart', 'Into the West' and 'Animal Farm' which is currently shooting in Ardmore Studios. It is reported that the clause to be included in the qualifying terms for the tax breaks requires, that in future animals will have to be handled by experienced handlers, or wranglers as they are known in the film industry, both in training and during filming and must be "treated humanely at all times". There was no incident which led to the raising of the issue and all the animals on 'Animal Farm' are being looked after by experienced and trained handlers and are under 24 hour a day supervision with weekly veterinary checks.

The concerns grew from the rapid growth of the film industry and the lack of mechanisms to deal with a situation which could arise in the future.

Michael McMahon 15/10/98






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