A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Jan 17, 2012

The Fear Factor Problem and Solution

courtesy of Google Images
In an episode of Fear Factor, "Snake Bite", contestants were asked to remove snakes from crawling on another contestant using only their (the contestant's) mouths. This exercise was designed to force those afraid of snakes to confront their fears. As biting the snakes seemed an inevitable consequence of the stunt, those concerned about the welfare of all animals vocalized their indignation. Upon further investigation, spcaLA learned that the requirement of a monitor to ensure that no animals are harmed during production, does not apply to reality shows. However, California Penal Code prohibiting cruelty to animals applies wherever it occurs. spcaLA has issued a statement and a call to action.

Now, I wish to say something more. The best thing every person can do is document, report and witness. I am asking you all, employees of the networks, show participants, audience members, animal wrangler staff, interns, volunteers, producers and anyone with knowledge to chronicle and report suspected acts of animal cruelty to the authorities in your state. Many, such as spcaLA, allow for anonymous complaints if necessary, and many, such as spcaLA provide the ease of on-line reporting.

Though it is still important to pressure the networks and the show sponsors, it is critical to provide concrete evidence with which law enforcement can use to investigate and prosecute those who would harm and allow harm to animals. It is important that all eyes are on duty!

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