But the organisation didn’t have its most notable case of animal cruelty in film production until the production and release of the Henry Fonda film Jesse James (Dir: Henry King, 1939).
But these permissions would be revoked in 1966 with the disbanding of the Hays Office which granted the group its powers by the Supreme Court. The AHA was still monitoring sets but it often found itself uninvolved. It wouldn’t again have a return of any kind of binding agreement to be present on film and television sets until the production and release of the bleak anti-western Heaven’s Gate (Dir: Michael Cimino, 1980).
However in recent years the organisation has come under scrutiny from articles in The Los Angeles Times (http://articles.latimes.com/2001/feb/09/news/mn-23161) and The Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/feature/) which I strongly encourage you to read. Together, they create a narrative that the organisation’s banner “No Animals Were Harmed”, is not quite as clear cut as it suggests. Or occasions when it is rewarded it is done so extremely leniently. Highlighting that some films did in fact have incidents of harm to animals occurring, but the incident occurred off camera when they weren’t rolling, or were not intentional. The reports also suggest that the organisation doesn’t always exercise the massive oversight that it claims and does not wield its authority when it is needed. There are also reports of resisting investigations into reported abuse of animals or doing so half-heartedly. Issues of transparency and cosiness with film studios is also mentioned.
In recent years other animal protection organisations have emerged, including one to directly challenge the AHA by its former head of production titled Movie Animals Protected.