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'The Hobbit' Producers

We're NOT to Blame

For 27 Animal Deaths

11/19/2012 11:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1119-the-hobbit

As many as 27 animals -- from horses to chickens -- died horrific (and preventable) deaths during the production of "The Hobbit" ... this according to people who handled the animals ... though producers say the number has been grossly exaggerated.

Several wranglers who worked on location in New Zealand have come forward -- claiming horses, sheep, goats and chickens died unnecessarily from 2010 to 2011 because the Wellington farm where they were housed was full of dangerous sinkholes, shoddy fencing, and other "death traps."

According to the wranglers, some of the animals -- mostly horses -- would fall into the sink holes and break their backs. At least one horse had to be euthanized.

The wranglers claim several chickens were unprotected and were mauled to death by dogs ... some of the goats froze to death ... and a horse gashed its leg open on an unsafe fence. Other animals allegedly died from eating bad feed, contracting worms or other forms of negligence.

Two wranglers say conditions for the animals were so bad ... they quit in 2011 and complained to the production company about the situation.

A rep for Peter Jackson admitted two of the horse deaths were avoidable -- but says producers "completely reject" accusations that 27 animals died due to mistreatment.

As soon as producers became aware of the animals' living conditions in early 2011, the rep says they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve them.

The American Humane Association investigated the situation later that year and gave the production a passing grade ... noting that no animals died on the set. 

But the AHA admits their grade only reflected on-set conditions -- and not the animals' housing facilities, which the group admits was subpar.

Jackson -- along with "Hobbit" producers -- issued a joint statement to TMZ saying, "We are currently investigating these new allegations and are attempting to speak with all parties involved to establish the truth."

103 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

hexler1    

We have thousands of animals being killed a day to feed our fat faces and no one says **** but the second 27 die over a span of like 3 years everyone flips and wants to boycott? Go for it, no one cares

601 days ago
32.

DC77    

how do you say "who gives a #$*@ in elvish?

601 days ago
33.

Kelly    

So why didn't those wranglers do any thing @ the time to stop more from dying if they were so concerned. Sounds like they are just as responsible for the death of those animals.

601 days ago
34.

Mike G.    

I think most Animal-rights activists Organizations are afraid to attack, protest/boycott this movie against the all powerful nerd and geek super fan crowd. Too bad the HBO's LUCK didn't have the super fan following, otherwise it would still be on the air.

601 days ago
35.

Mike G.    

Chickens,horses and sheep!!! Who cares!!! with all the crime and death happening worldwide, kids starving, diseases, floods, why are people going to worry about a few animals in a movie that died. If you don't like the fact animals were harmed in making the movie don't go see the movie but if you're going to spend your time protesting and making a big stink about it use your time and energy on a better cause for crying out loud, help find a cure for cancer help fight AIDS, Be a big Brother or big sister help out with the Boys and Girls Club, for gods sake they're animals not people!

601 days ago
36.

romba    

What do you expect when you let abos take care of animals?

601 days ago
37.

Slomoshun    

So..the ANIMAL HANDLERS are blaming the producers for the death and MISHANDLING of the animals?

Anyone else see or smell that pile of bull**** over there?

601 days ago
38.

Hobbit girl     

Sounds a bit like someone trying to cash in with just over a week until the premiere. I find it hard to believe that any animal could freeze to death in Wellington when the weather never goes below zero.

601 days ago
39.

Justin    

All of you animal lovers are funny. People are dying all over the world, Gaza, Africa, Genocides etc etc. A chicken dies on set, WOW.

601 days ago
40.

releggneh    

So, you can spend millions on a movie, but you don't feel the need to secure the animals safety?? I guess i won't be paying to see this movie.

601 days ago
41.

Tiggy    

Death of animals on a set to me causes for the death of a movie at the box office...BOYCOTT this film if you truly love animals like MOST of the normal people here!!!

601 days ago
42.

Sepia23    

I can't speak for everyone, but the reason I'm concerned for the animals is because they are innocent!!! Yes there are humans dying all over but it is at our own fault! Our greed and selfishness are key factors!! We go and experiment with diseases and such thing that end up killing us. Animals don't have a voice! They don't bother us, and most of the ones that do is because we destroy their natural habitat for big mansions we don't need, highways etc. not one of those animals signed up for that money, the least that they deserve is to be treated right!

601 days ago
43.

sleeper18    

to neglect and abuse animals for a movie,,,,disgusting

600 days ago
44.

fifi    

Take live animals out of film. It's not right - use special effects. Shame.

600 days ago
45.

Spicy mag    

These animals died for a good cause. Our 60fps 3D entertainment!

600 days ago
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