150

Horses Died for 'The Hobbit'

Check out all the details below and then click "Get Points" to submit a form for points!

istockphoto.com Suchota

UPDATE (November 26, 2012, 1:00 p.m. Eastern time): Following PETA’s release last week of disturbing whistleblower reports of 27 animal deaths during the filming of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeywe have asked authorities in New Zealand, where The Hobbit was filmed, to investigate and pursue appropriate criminal charges if warranted.

*****

UPDATE (November 20, 2012, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time): PETA responds to Peter Jackson’s statement: Five whistleblowers reported more than two dozen animal deaths during the production of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. They raised concerns not just once but repeatedly to both the head wrangler and the head of production about the unsafe housing conditions for animals and about Shanghai the horse, who was hobbled (his legs reportedly tied together when he proved to be “too energetic” for his rider). But their concerns were outright ignored.

With the exception of the hobbled horse, all claims of animal injury and death are directly related to how the animals were housed and fed. Jackson attempts to deflect these serious charges by talking about the use of animals during action sequences—even though these damning incidents did not take place when cameras were rolling. Two horses went over steep embankments and died (one was found with her head submerged in water), a horse sustained a severe injury after being put in with other horses despite known problems, sheep broke their legs in sinkholes, and chickens were mauled by dogs—all instances of extreme negligence. It seems to PETA that instead of vainly defending himself, Jackson should be giving a firm assurance that this will never happen again. He is the CGI master and has the ability to make the animals and other interesting creatures in his movies 100 percent CGI, and PETA calls on him again to do so.

*****

When The Hobbit is released, audiences will see an adventure story set in a fantasy world. For the animals involved in the filming, however, the abuse and neglect they reportedly experienced were very real. In all, five horses, 12 chickens, one pony, and several goats and sheep were allegedly injured or killed!

Here are some of the allegations:

  • 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. Afterwards, the rope burns on his legs were covered with makeup and hair for filming.
  • One pony was killed and another horse was injured after being housed with two high-strung geldings, despite concerns that the geldings were too aggressive.
  • One horse died, probably from colic, an extremely painful illness, after being fed grain, which he wasn’t accustomed to.
  • Another horse got her leg caught in wire fencing and had the skin and muscles torn away.
  • Several goats and sheep died from worm infestations and from falling into the sinkholes that covered the farm.
  • Twelve chickens were mauled and killed by unsupervised dogs or trampled by other animals when left unprotected.

How could this happen, when the unit production manager was warned and the production was partially AHA-monitored?! What’s even worse: This is a Peter Jackson—yes, the CGI master!—production. In a movie featuring CGI dragons, ogres, and hobbits, CGI animals would have fit in perfectly. He could have made The Hobbit without using a single animal—and he should have.

Send a message to filmmakers that hurting and killing animals for a film is unacceptable, and refuse to see movies that do. Urge Peter Jackson to hold himself and his production company responsible when it comes to animal safety in movies. 

Please send polite comments to: 
WingNut Films
P.O. Box 15-208
Miramar, Wellington 6003
New Zealand
(011) 6443889939
reception@wingnutfilms.co.nz

Submit the letter you write for points by clicking “Get points” above! 

Respond

Comments

Post a Comment

Please log in to comment.

Your email address will not be published.

Connect with Facebook

Your email address will not be published.

Connect with Facebook

  • Profile photo of learningvegan

    440 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    i love the book. and honestly i didn’t want to see the movie, and every one asked me why i liked the book but didn’t want to see the movie and i never had a reason. NOW I HAVE A REASON TO HATE IT. Its actually stupid how they allow slaughter houses to kill animals (poor, adorable, innocent animals) but if a normal person killed a dog they would get arrested. (but we peta members actually have a brain and a heart so we wouldn’t) and a horse?!?!? really?!?!?! disgusting. they should be ashamed of them self.

  • 589 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Dear filmmakers, suing people unfortunately doesn’t always seem to stop the animal cruelty problems, and it unfortunately doesn’t take back the lives of the animals that have been taken during the making of the film. Anybody who dares treat any animal this way deserves to spend the rest of their lives in jail and deserves to lose their job in movie making due to the crime that is animal cruelty. No amount of money made in any film will ever make up for the suffering of the animals and anybody preforming these acts IS A CRIMINAL. Thank you for giving people a reason to boycott your movies and thank you for encouraging people to go vegan.

  • Profile photo of korinsmith

    590 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    This is terrible! :c

  • Profile photo of jenniandrea

    643 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    This sucks. I’m a huge fan of the movie and also the LOTR-movies… It’s so terrible, I will definitely write to them and hopefully you’ll do it too!

  • Profile photo of anayorke

    656 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Disappointing :c

  • Profile photo of animalangel365

    666 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I fell asleep in the movie theater because the movie was too long and really boring, and I now feel bad that I supported the movie at all! Why can’t people fix their moral compass? :(

  • Profile photo of animalangel365

    666 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I fell asleep in the movie theater because the movie was too long and really boring, and I now feel bad that I supported the movie at all! Why can’t people fix their moral compass?

  • Profile photo of sandhia1

    689 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I never saw the movie and guess I never will.

  • Profile photo of taiwanroach

    721 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I saw the movie and I nearly fell asleep in the theatre because it sucked, but now that I know this, it MEGA sucks. I think I had better check if films have real animal actors first before I watch… Should have known better, sigh…

  • Profile photo of rassberryorange

    729 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    o heck no i love horses i i never saw the movie and now i now never to look at it

  • Profile photo of horsesruleearth1

    736 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I HATE THE MOVIE because of this!!!

  • Profile photo of vegan-vet

    763 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I wish this hadn’t happened! I’m not going to see this movie and have told my friends not to

  • Profile photo of hollyhomicide93

    763 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    i refuse to watch this movie

  • Profile photo of titi121298

    777 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    This is sad!!!

  • Profile photo of sparkwolf123

    783 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I will never watch movies like that again! Those movie directors are very unresponsible and should be sued for animal cruelty!

  • Profile photo of KatieTheLizardLover

    799 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    It is a very good movie, but I saw it before I knew about this.

  • Profile photo of mlongpre

    799 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    never seen the movie. Never will.

  • Profile photo of lairbear

    802 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I refuse to watch this movie. So ridiculous.

  • Profile photo of cyndleee

    803 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    If they couldn’t take care of the animals right then why were they even allowed to have such horrible things happen to them in a movie …honestly the actors prob didnt go through such horrible conditions but the animals did? I will never see this movie..

  • 809 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I was going to see that movie and now I will never see it . and the person who did that to the animals should do the same thing to them selves and see what it fells like.

  • Profile photo of RiseAgainstIsNumber1

    812 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    wow, my mom watched this movie, why do people do this!?

  • Profile photo of No.Meat.No.Hate

    820 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    I loved the Hobbit so much and I’m a huge fan but this is just wrong!

  • Profile photo of Claudiak

    822 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    What an assholes! I’m not going to see the movie anymore.

  • 827 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    This is one movie that definitely needs to be BOYCOTTED due to extreme animal abuse and causing death to animals for the sake of humane entertainment!!!! Off my list of movies to see, even if it comes to freeTV viewing.

  • 828 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I thought it was a great movie and I watched it twice already, but now I read THIS. As a fan of Tolkien and the Tolkien based movies I am very disappointed. Hurting animals is never right, but when you do it for the sake of entertainment it is plain disgusting! Also, a lot of the story is all about being humane, having compassion with all creatures, and about loving nature. Just think of the wizard Radagast! It somehow makes it even worse. Damn you, Jackson!

  • Profile photo of kathrine2194

    832 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    not going to see this, didn’t look that good anyways

  • Profile photo of ashleys

    833 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    OMFG! You cannot be serious! I went and I saw that movie maybe last week. I liked it but not too sure about that anymore :/ Animal cruelty is awful! I didn’t know a single hair on an animal was harmed during that movie, never more 20+ animals! :O

  • Profile photo of megs97

    836 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    This is so sad. Animals shouldnt have to die for the pleasure of people who like watching films.
    I was a fan i dont think i am any more!
    So so SAD!
    I really wanted to see this film, not going to see it anymore!

  • Profile photo of sunshiningimsmiling910

    840 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    It’s crazy that things like this still happen; as if people are uneducated as to why their actions are wrong. yeah right

  • Profile photo of nycgirl69

    849 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    thats sad

  • Profile photo of shifaly

    849 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Some people become animals for money! Going to every extent for fame and stardom.

  • 850 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    sad

  • 850 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Very sad and bad

  • 853 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Really! And I “WAS” a fan! I would have never guessed! Lost my respect! All for glory and money! :-( …. Now here is some shame!

  • Profile photo of skyhoffman

    854 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    same here @stonesfan

  • Profile photo of stonesfan

    856 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    4

    OMG! I was all hiped up about this movie!! I’m never going to see it. EVER!!!!