Peter Jackson Slams PETA Accusations of Cruelty to Animals on the set of ‘The Hobbit’

584 TheHobbitUnexpectedCruelty Peter Jackson Slams PETA Accusations of Cruelty to Animals on the set of The Hobbit

PETA posted this image on their website yesterday along with allegations that several animals were “allegedly maimed or killed” on the set of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey including “five horses, a pony, and several goats, sheep, and chickens.” If you’ve seen the Lord of the Rings films, you’d know that Jackson employs a lot of animals, mainly horses, so this is a very serious claim.Throughout the entire filming of the first three movies, no one had levied any sort of animal cruelty accusations against Jackson’s production team. So why now?

According to Peter Jackson’s Facebook page, these accusations are coming from two horse trainers “whose treatment of animals fell below the production’s standard of care.” Here is the list of fatalities PETA alleges:

  • A horse named Shanghai was hobbled (his legs were tied together so that he couldn’t move) and left on the ground for three hours because he was too energetic for his rider. Afterward, in order to hide his rope burns for filming, his legs were covered with makeup and hair. Hobbling is an outright violation of the American Humane Association’s (AHA) guidelines.
  • One horse was killed and another horse was injured after being placed with two highly strung geldings, despite concerns that the geldings would be too aggressive.
  • Another horse was killed after falling off an embankment in a severely crowded paddock.
  • When the horses were moved to the stables, another horse died after being fed large amounts of food that he wasn’t used to. The horse had shown signs of colic, an extremely painful illness.
  • When the horses were moved back to the paddocks after this incident, another horse had the skin and muscles of her leg torn away by wire fencing.
  • Several goats and sheep died from worm infestations and from falling into the sink holes that covered the farm.
  • Numerous chickens were mauled and killed by unsupervised dogs or trampled by other animals when left unprotected.

In his response, Jackson posted a message from the owner of the horse known as Shanghai who insists that he was “100% happy with the return of Shanghai and his condition. In the term that he was leased he was picked up and returned to me two times. On both occasions there was not a mark on him and he was healthy and happy. He has shown no signs of ill-treatment. I would not hesitate in leasing him to the movie again.” 

Also posted are messages from a veterinarian who tended to the animals on set, a farmer who owned the farm where the animals were trained, and an actor who worked closely with the animals on all four films, who couldn’t have enough positive things to say about the way the animals were treated.  The timing for these allegations couldn’t be more interesting, considering the release date for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is in just three weeks.

To read his entire statement, go to Peter Jackson’s Facebook Page.

pixel Peter Jackson Slams PETA Accusations of Cruelty to Animals on the set of The Hobbit

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