Vijay’s Varisu is in trouble as the Animal Welfare Board of India has issued a show cause notice to its producers Venkateswara Creations for using five elephants in the film without seeking proper pre-shoot permission from the board. The board has termed the shooting ‘illegal’ and a ‘violation of Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001’.
“The Board has received a complaint regarding illegal shooting of animals by M/s Venkateswara Creations using Elephants-5 without the pre-shoot permission from the Animal Welfare Board of India in Tamil Film “Varisu”, which is the violation of Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 (as amended in 2002). The Board has not received the Pre-shoot application from you for Tamil Film “Varisu” till date (sic),” the official statement of the board read.
The board has now directed the makers to submit a detailed explanation seeking reasons behind the violations of the law within seven days. “…failing which AWBI shall take any or all such action as it may deem to consider proper and necessary for the welfare of the animals (sic),” the statement read.
Here’s the full statement from the board:
Varisu makers are yet to respond or comment about the board’s show cause notice.
Earlier, Simbu’s Eeswaran (2021) faced a similar issue ahead of its release. A video of Simbu from the sets of the film showed him handling a snake. This led to the forest department and wildlife activists taking action. Later, things were put to rest when the officials were told that the film crew only used a plastic snake.
Meanwhile, Varisu, directed by Vamsi Paidipally of Oopiri fame, is gearing up to be released for Pongal 2023. Also starring Rashmika Mandanna, the film is set to clash with Ajith’s Valimai at the box office. It has music by Thaman, who recently released the first single from the film, Ranjithame.