Will Peta start showing up to movie sets to throw paint and powder all over the camera lenses? Apparently, the production team of the The Hobbit caused the death of 27 animals because of unsafe conditions.
Animal wranglers working with The Hobbit franchise say the company is responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals, because they were kept at an unsafe farm which contained “bluffs, sinkholes, death traps and broken-down fencing.”
The Associated Press spoke to four wranglers who claimed they repeatedly raised issues about the farm with their superiors and the production company, owned by Warner Bros.
Wrangler Chirs Langridge mentioned that the first horse to die was a miniature named Rainbow. “When I arrived at work in the morning, the pony was still alive but his back was broken. He’d come off a bank at speed and crash-landed,” Langridge said. “He was in a bad state.” Rainbow, who was slated to be use in The Hobbit was euthanized. Less than a week later, another horse by the named of Doofus got tangled in some fencing and suffered a big cut on its leg.
One wrangler claims this neglect continued, and throughout the production he buried three horses, as well as about six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens, making it a grand total of 27 farm animals.
Today, a representative for The Hobbit acknowledged that horses, goats, chickens and sheep died at the farm, but claims that some of the deaths were from natural causes. The farm housed 150 animals in all for the movies.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will have a red-carpet premiere Nov. 28 in Wellington, New Zealand and will open at theaters in the U.S. on December 13th.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is an animal rights group, says the organization is planning protests at the premieres in New Zealand, the U.S. and the U.K. The wrangler mentioned that their story must be heard because they would like to prevent similar deaths in the future.