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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

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46.

valentina    

@Brittany Retzlaff You piece of ****. **** you for saying what you said you inconsiderate low life ****. I hope you die a painful death like these animals did. A CNS (central nervous system) is a CNS and these animals feel pain. Go **** yourself you waste of space.

597 days ago
47.

valentina    

This movie could go to hell. Animals are innocent creatures at the mercy of our destructive hands. I think animals are better than people in so many ways. I hope the people responsible get whats coming to them.

597 days ago
48.

Observer999    

The American Humane Society has no authority whatsoever in New Zealand. Most Americans probably don't realize that it's a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COUNTRY. I wonder if the NZ Humane Society would have been so quick to give a free pass to a (mostly) American movie production...

597 days ago
49.

John     

Who cares anyway they are ANIMALS! CREATURES! UNINTELLIGENT EMOTIONLESS BEINGS! NOBODY CARES!!! Where was the outrage when two people died filming the dark knight rises? Peter Jackson and crew have proved time and time again to be professional and quick to respond to problems. No need to boycott the film. Let me ask, if you were responsible for writing, directing, and editing a $500+ trilogy, would you as director have time to check on the chickens at the barn? NO!

597 days ago
50.

valentina    

@ Brittany Retzlaff I don't like telling people I hope they die a painful death and I would never wish that upon anyone. I didn't mean that part of my comment but I do believe you are a worthless piece of **** for saying the comment you did.

597 days ago
51.

Woot    

You effing mother-effers!! ONE death this way is too many! Shut it down if they can't do things right. Oh hell, shut em down and send them to prison already!

597 days ago
52.

billybob    

The point is, this movie is supposed to impart moral values, especially to kids. No doubt, that the world of the Hobbits is a world of honor, friendship, respect, love, loyalty etc...
Unfortunately, this is ONLY what they want people to consume!

In contrast to that are the makers of that movie bunch of greedy and reckless bastards whose real thoughts about moral values YOU probably don NOT want know.

This is absolutely NO GO nowadays, the cruel Disney-days of film making with animals are over.
BUT this movie not only brings you back to the age of the Hobbits, it catapults the moral of film making back in the stone age.

BOYCOTT THAT MOVIE!

597 days ago
53.

saveTHEplanet    

"Humans are the most Cruelest and dangerous Animals on the Planet" - a deceased horse

597 days ago
54.

Lalagirl123    

So I guess all of you guys who are supporting the animals are vegetarians. Next time you enjoy that chicken or steak on your plate think about the cruelty that goes on in the meat packing industry.

597 days ago
55.

Mark    

This is just unbelievable. How dare they let animals just die off, while they give actors millions of dollars per movie? I hope as many people as possible get to know about this and not go see this pile of crap, this moron should be put in jail for 20 years.

595 days ago
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