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Hobbit animals died of natural causes

2012-11-20 17:24
The Hobbit
Wellington - Producers on The Hobbit film series and the production company have said that some of the animals that died during the shooting of the film series, had died of natural causes.

Matt Dravitki, a spokesperson for the trilogy's director Sir Peter Jackson, has come out to acknowledge the deaths, but has said that some of the animals had died from natural causes.

Four wranglers working on the film allege that horses, goats, chickens and one sheep died at a farm near Wellington, New Zealand where they were housed for the movies because the facilities were filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other "death traps".

The crew members insist they repeatedly raised concerns about their farm with their superiors and the Warner Bros-owned production company but the facility continued to be used.

While the American Humane Association (AHA), which oversees the animal welfare of the films, said no animals were harmed during filming, they admit some of the deaths were "needless and unacceptable" but they have no power to monitor facilities where the beasts are housed and trained.

'Those deaths were avoidable'

However, Dravitki agreed that the deaths of two horses were avoidable, and said the production company moved to improve conditions after they died.

"We do know those deaths were avoidable and we took steps to make sure it didn't happen again," he said.

He also stressed the farm is no longer used by the company and that the director himself had adopted three of the pigs used in filming.

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are now planning protests at the New Zealand, US and UK premieres of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

"We want to send a clear message to Hollywood that they need to be very careful when using animals and take all the precautions that need to be taken," Kathy Guillermo, a senior vice president at PETA said.

- BangShowBiz

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