- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 2, 2006


The Oscar-nominated movie “Brokeback Mountain” is drawing complaints from the American Humane Association (AHA).

“Brokeback” has been widely criticized as promoting homosexuality, but AHA’s criticism was aimed at what it called a “dangerous and wrong message: That the film industry and the viewing public condone animal endangerment for entertainment’s sake.”

“The excessively rough handling of the sheep and horses leaves viewers questioning whether anyone was looking out for the safety of those animals,” AHA President Marie Belew Wheatley wrote in a letter sent last week to director Ang Lee.

“And many also wonder how the filmmakers got the elk to lose its footing and crumple to the ground ‘on cue’ after being shot,” wrote Mrs. Wheatley, whose group has developed guidelines for safe treatment of animals in television and movie productions.

There have been reports that an elk was anesthetized in a hunting scene, Mrs. Wheatley said. Anesthetizing animals solely for the purpose of entertainment are prohibited under AHA guidelines.

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