Thursday, November 29, 2012

Animal Cruelty in the making of the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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 in December, audiences will see an adventure story set in a fantasy world. For the animals involved in the filming, however, the abuse and neglect that they experienced were far too real. Recently, PETA gave the Associated Press the exclusive on the reported animal death toll In all, five horses, a pony, and several goats, sheep, and chickens were allegedly maimed or killed.
According to whistleblowers from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the following occurred:
·         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.
How can something like this happen when the unit production manager was warned and the production was monitored by the AHA?! Furthermore, this movie was directed by Peter Jackson, a master at computer-generated imagery (CGI). In a movie that features CGI dragons, ogres, and hobbits, CGI animals would have fit in perfectly. Jackson 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 crew responsible when it comes to animal safety on film sets. Use the button below to send him a message now!


  1. now that i know the Death and injuries animals sustained i am not even interested to see this movie . it will haunt me while watching the movie since we know the truth what was behind . its shame , that people are so irresponsible and they think these animals are some kind of toy.. will you do this with humans if there is any war scenes shots ,will people actually die ? or people who came to act, will they die when camera not rolling ? why animals only face this ? ignorant selfish human being, did not care for animals life because its an animal thats it .. i heard there was animal right org : was there to monitor if then ,i wonder what was their role here ?

  2. I'm not interested in watching this movie, after knowing animals suffered and died in making this movie....I"M BOYCOTTING this movie....

  3. There may have been animal deaths, but there is a high possibility that these things happened with the precautions of the filming crew and everyone. Worm infestations that killed the sheep, how do we know that this could have been prevented? And how was someone to know that a "new type of food" that the horse wasn't used to would kill the horse? We all want to see animals in films, lets be honest about that. But we have to be realistic about the conditions that they are in and that this has been the case for decades. None of these things sounds like purposeful maltreatment of the animals. Even the horse who was hyperactive and needed to be laid down with his legs tied sounds more like a safety maneuver for the horse so that the horse would not hurt himself or other people around him from being too wild. It's like a toddler time-out.

  4. Animals are not ours to use for entertainment

  5. post verifiable proof of this if you want people to believe! until you can prove this...i'll watch whatever movie i want and you can believe what you want thank you very much!


    2. And hey anonymous no one is denying it. I want people to boycott this movie as punishment for the producers of this movie