Shutterstock Bans Images Of Ape And Monkey “Actors”

Posted on 12/18/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

After PETA (People For Ethical Treatment Of Animals) pointed out that monkeys and great apes suffer immensely when used for photo shoots—and that images of these animals in unnatural settings can harm conservation efforts and bolster the illegal wildlife trade—Shutterstock agreed to remove and ban all such photographs and videos of these species from its collection as well as from those of its subsidiary Bigstock.
 
Shutterstock will no longer allow photographs and videos that feature monkeys or apes in the following situations:
  • Wearing clothing or accessories, such as hats or sunglasses
  • Shown in a studio setting or human environment, such as an office or a circus
  • Exhibiting trained or unnatural behavior types, such as dancing or performing
  • Engaged in unnatural interactions with humans, such as holding hands or being held
Images of apes or monkeys in the wild that have been digitally altered to place them in any of the unnatural situations listed above are also banned. Photographs of these animals in zoos or living free in natural habitats or in Asian cities (for example, macaques who inhabit temples) will still be allowed.
 


"By banning unnatural images of exploited ape and monkey 'actors,' Shutterstock has made a huge difference for nonhuman primates, both those in the wild and those suffering in captivity," says PETA Primatologist Julia Gallucci. "Ad agencies and film and television producers have already moved away from using these harmful images, and we hope other stock-photo providers follow Shutterstock's lead."
 
In its letter to the company, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to use for entertainment"—pointed out that the "grin" exhibited by chimpanzees is actually a "fear grimace" and that physical abuse during training is typical. Great apes used in these images are typically torn away from their mothers shortly after birth, causing lifelong psychological trauma to both mother and infant. When they reach adolescence, trainers discard them in substandard facilities where they're often kept alone in small cages for decades.
 
A number of studies show that the inaccurate portrayal of apes in the media hinders conservation efforts and may also increase the demand for these dangerous animals as "pets."




Copyright © 20817 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

Comments

  • Ben Williamson Posted Dec 18, 2017
    Thank you Jim. And Thank you Shutterstock. This move is a reflection of changing industry standards, as well as a sea change in public opinion: consumers are more aware than ever of the suffering that wild animals endure when used for any form of entertainment.

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