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Film and TV Notification Form

An animal should never be abused, endangered, injured, or deliberately killed for a production. When a script is being prepared, care must be taken about the possible impact on the welfare of any animals involved. An animal should only be required to do what it is capable of being reasonably trained to do, and only well-trained animals should be used for special effects or stunts.

Only competent animal handlers, trainers or veterinarians should manage animals, as animal welfare is their primary consideration. They must have the power to halt production if they believe the animal or animals are at risk, and have no other responsibilities on set.

Similarly, other employees on set must not take responsibility for animals, e.g., if the director is using their pet dog for a production, they cannot take responsibility for the animal and direct the film. They must therefore use an animal consultant.

Animals may be used to perform tasks with other animals of the same or different species, with people and, if well trained, with special effects. When they are used in these ways, they must not suffer any abuse, distress, injury or sickness.

In all instances, a veterinarian must be on call or arrangements must be in place to obtain immediate veterinary assistance if required. A veterinarian should be sought immediately if an animal becomes distressed, injured or sick.

The ultimate responsibility for any animal rests with the producer (or his or her authorised representative), whether they are on the set or not.

Please inform RSPCA NSW of your intention to use an animal in a film or TV production by downloading the Notification Form and emailing it to


Code of Practice

The Code is a standard of practice which establishes clear guidelines for the use of animals in the film and television industry, corporate and educational productions, stage performances, and commercial photography for advertising or promotion.

A mandatory code has existed since 1990 and has now been revised under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.


Please click here to access the Department of Primary Industries website, where you’ll find:

  • Code of Practice for the welfare of animals in films and theatrical performances
  • Code of Practice for the welfare of animals in films and theatrical performances (plain English version)
  • animal safety guidance notes for the film industry
  • Notification Form regarding animals to be used or portrayed in a production
  • Important information about the Notification Form