Producers of the movie “The Hobbit” are now facing accusations that 27 animals have died during the production of the movie due to mistreatment. This was according to the handlers of the animals they used in the movie. The producers completely deny the allegations.
Wranglers who have worked on the movie’s location in New Zealand came forward with the complaints and claimed that horses, goats, sheep and chickens have died from 2010 to 2011 due to the unfavorable conditions at the Wellington farm where the animals were kept. The farm reportedly had dangerous sinkholes, poorly built fences and other “death traps”. Animals, mostly horses, would fall into these sinkholes and break their backs. Chickens were said to be unprotected and were mauled by dogs while the goats froze to death. They say the conditions were so bad that the handlers had to quit.
A representative for Peter Jackson had affirmed the death of horses, but reiterated that the allegations were not entirely true. They have reportedly improved the living conditions of the animals in 2011 after becoming aware of the situation. They had spent thousands of dollars to improve these conditions, according to their representative.
The American Humane Association has investigated this situation in 2011, but gave them a passing grade stating no animals had died on the set. This grade only reflected the conditions on the set, but not of the facilities where they were housed in.
The producers are currently conducting an investigation of the issue as of press time.