The government is considering amending rules to check the trend of filmmakers bypassing norms by filming animals like lions and tigers abroad and then getting approval for showing these movies in India.
As per a central government notification, bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls should not be exhibited or trained as performing animals in India.
However, to escape rules which disallow shooting scenes involving these animals, filmmakers move to countries where these conditions do not apply, sources said.
Scenes featuring these animals in films have managed to get clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on the basis that they had not been shot in India, they said.
Senior officials said that the I&B ministry has already written to the Law ministry seeking its opinion in this regard.
As per the rules, films which feature animals have to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Animal Welfare Board of India.
Officials said the I&B ministry has acted after AWBI and animal rights activists raised the matter.
AWBI chairman R M Kharb had written to I&B Minister Manish Tewari saying CBFC should inform filmmakers that films shot abroad will also be governed by Performing Animals Rules.
"I request you to please stop letting filmmakers, whether of serials or advertisement or films, make a mockery of India's Performing Animal Rules on the pretext that scenes have been shot abroad," Kharb said in his letter to Tewari.
The AWBI asked the I&B ministry that appropriate directions be issued to ensure that cinematography which uses performing animals and films shot abroad must undergo the same scrutiny as films shot in India.
A senior official said though the ministry had approached the Law ministry on the issue, it would also speak to other stakeholders.
The ministry would also hold consultations with filmmakers before it decides to carry out any changes in the rules, the official said.