The American Humane Association, the only animal-welfare organization authorized to monitor the use of animals in productions filmed in the United States, owns the trademarked statement which assures the safety of animals in film production, and is urging members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to show their disapproval of District 9’s use of the credit by voting for other nominated films.
The film District 9, nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category, was purchased by Sony Pictures, who contacted American Humane when they discovered the "No Animals Were Harmed" end-credit disclaimer. Sony were in turn informed that the credit was bogus and should be removed. However, Sony claimed that the film was "locked" and the credit could not be removed. American Humane have since contacted Peter Jackson, co-producer of District 9, to explain their process of monitoring films and their position regarding unauthorized use of their disclaimer.
"American Humane has monitored the use of animals in film for the past 70 years to ensure their safety, and both the animals and the public depend on us to do that. We did not monitor District 9. And the unauthorized use of that end credit on District 9 not only leaves open the questions of How were the animals treated? and Were any of them harmed or killed?, but it’s dishonest to the public and it’s a slap in the face to the conscientious productions that have American Humane on set, meet our standards for animal safety, and have legitimately earned the right to say No Animals Were Harmed. The industry fights piracy every day and should understand that this is piracy of American Humane?s registered language," said Karen Rosa, vice president of American Humane’s Film & TV Unit.