Position Statement

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Apes in filmed media

What is your position on the use of apes in filmed media?

Upon reviewing the script, if American Humane believes there to be any potentially risky animal action, we will strongly encourage the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI), animatronics or fake animal doubles to minimize possible injury to the animal. American Humane Association urges productions to consider the following issues before deciding to use primates in any filmed media production.

Impact on primate socialization due to the separation of infant primates from their mothers:

Primates have the longest infant dependency of any animals other than humans, with infant apes dependent on their mothers for up to four years.

Primates, and apes in particular, learn species-appropriate social behavior and cues from their mothers, families and other group members during their infancy and adolescence.

Hand-reared and peer-reared primates suffer from a lack of socialization, often leading to later inabilities to socialize, become integrated into groups of the same species, or to engage in proper reproductive or parenting behavior.

Retirement planning for performing apes:

  • Apes can live up to 60 years and are typically retired by age eight.
  • Apes are expensive to properly house, feed and care for.