Protest Planned at Wellington Premiere Following Reports of Animal Deaths During Production
For Immediate Release:
27 November 2012
Wellington – Holding a sign that reads, “The Hobbit: Unexpected Cruelty”, and wearing a Grim Reaper costume, a PETA Australia member will join the Wellington premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to protest the deaths of animals during production. This follows allegations from whistleblowers that 27 animals died during the filming of The Hobbit. The deaths have prompted PETA US to call for New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries to investigate all the allegations and, if appropriate, charge those responsible for the violations.
“The deaths of three horses and several chickens, goats and sheep during the production of a multimillion-dollar film such as The Hobbit is inexcusable”, says PETA Australia Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. “This film was a nightmare for the animals who have suffered and died for the sake of entertainment.”
The deaths include those of two horses who were reportedly run off embankments by other horses in their paddocks and sustained broken necks and another who died, likely of colic, after his diet was suddenly and drastically changed.
The production’s American Humane Association representative, whose expertise is reportedly in companion-animal medicine rather than equine care, was allegedly inappropriately friendly with the head animal wrangler and dismissive of the concerns of other wranglers. He was not present for all of the animal sequences.
PETA US’ response to director Peter Jackson’s denials of the allegations is available upon request. For more information on the suffering endured by animals exploited for entertainment, please visit PETA.org.au.