Good news for Hollywood and other foreign films entering India. These will no longer have to seek clearance from the Animal Welfare Board Of India (AWBI). A huge relief for foreign films like The Jungle Book and The Revenant which involve large amounts shooting with animals or computer graphics showing animals.
The Government has now done away with the procedure whereby foreign films had to seek the AWBI’s clearance.
The order says the Prevention OF Cruelty To Animals Act of 1960 is not applicable to foreign films as this Act is applicable at the time when a film is being shot and not when it is being released.
Pahlaj Nihalani, the chairperson the censor board who has actively campaigned against the AWBI’s intervention in foreign films says, “We initiated moves to stop Hollywood and foreign films from seeking NOCs from the Animal Welfare Board. We are not qualified to judge how Western films use animals. A lot of times the scenes with animals are CGs(Computer Graphics) as was the case in The Jungle Book. How can Hollywood producers be expected to get approval from the Animal Welfare Board? Imagine if our Indian films have to explain the use of animals to the American equivalent of animal welfare board at the time of release in the in the US! I am glad the rule has been scrapped. It makes us look like a more cinema-friendly nation on the global platform.”