Griselda Wept

For my own benefit and also for the vindication of revisionist art histories... and to post my reading notes.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Are Animals Being Harmed During the Exhbition at the VAG?

"No animals were harmed in the production of this film"

- is a disclaimer that is attached to films which have met the standards of the American Humane Association's Guidelines for the Safe use of Animals in the Media.

Can the Vancouver Art Gallery say the same thing? After browsing the American Humane Society's guide, which is also used in Vancouver film productions, I have come up with several more complaints about the House of Oracles show at the VAG. The issue outlined at-

1) Amphibians and reptiles are infamous carriers of salmonella. Their presence in the gallery puts children, the elderly and those with impaired immune systems at risk.

2) Amphibians must be provided with an abundance of purified water and adequate housing. Anyone who has ever had a pet frog or salamander will see that the set up at the VAG is inappropriate.

3) Sand or any bedding with small particles is not recommended as it could be ingested by the animals and destroy their digestive systems. "Theatre of the World" has sand bedding.

4) My personal favorite- Section 8-265- "When using snakes and other animals together in the same scene care must be taken to protect both the snakes and other animals. Each must be accustomed to being around each other. They are purposefully or negligently exposing different species to each other!!!

5) In the case of insects, arachnids, reptiles, and amphibians- a knowledgeable expert must be around at all times to ensure the well being of the animals. The VAG has someone come in only every couple of days.

6) Nothing can be done to the animal that will cause permanent harm or alter its physical characteristics.

7) Animals must be checked daily for injuries and/ or illness. Again, there is a lack of trained and brained supervision for the animals.

VAG's "Theatre of the World" appears to not stand up to film standards! Does this seem right? Both involve the use of animals for performance purposes. Both should be held to the Humane Society's standards.

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