As Tai and the other elephants at Have Trunk Will Travel/The Preserve, continue to existing in abject misery, deprivation, beatings and electric shocks, Sky doesn’t want to address the cruelty behind the scenes in their new An Elephant’s Journey production. Here is their stock answer:
Thank you for contacting us about An Elephant’s Journey and thank you also for your patience whilst we investigated your complaint.
The film concerns a circus elephant named Flora who is no longer able to perform her tricks. To prevent any harm coming to Flora, the circus owner’s daughter decides to sneak her out of the circus, starting a long journey to freedom.
The work was passed uncut by the British Board of Film Classification and it is in their remit to raise any concerns around animal welfare in films which they did not do on this occasion, as they noted no noticeable mistreatment of the elephant seen within the film. Additionally, during the end credits there is text notifying viewers that the American Humane Association were satisfied that no animals were harmed during the filming.
We take animal welfare extremely seriously and, on this occasion, are comfortable that the production complies with the appropriate rules as set out by the American Humane Association and has also been approved by the BBFC for broadcast in the UK.
The Sky Team
I can assure The Sky Team that the above does not represent any kind of investigation of the facts, or sense of duty for pushing a production where animals suffered behind the scenes. Your focus on the fantasy story does not mean that Tai and her companions should experience pain and suffering for your to plug your new product.
You could have contacted ADI to see the footage yourself. Or watch it on YouTube.
If you had asked ADI, we could have explained to you that the American Humane clearance is based on their observers seeing no cruelty on set. People who beat and electric shock animals do not do it in front of anyone. It happens during the real training, back at the ranch, where nobody can hear the screams.
Your response sounds dismissive and uncaring.