News of the more than two dozen animals who died during the production of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has left fans reeling.
The filmmakers themselves have admitted many of the deaths and have acknowledged that the horse deaths could have, and should have, been avoided.
While millions of dollars went into making this film, the animals who were used as living props and unpaid talent weren’t given even basic care to ensure their safety, including one horse that had the skin ripped from his leg and another that had his feet tied together for more than three hours as he was deemed “too energetic” for his rider.
Two horses went over steep embankments and died (one was found with her head submerged in water), sheep broke their legs in sinkholes, and chickens were mauled by dogs – all instances of extreme negligence.
Contrary to public perception, representatives from the American Humane Association do not monitor the training or housing of animals used in movies.
The vast majority of the scenes in the movie using animals were computer generated, so it’s puzzling that the producers felt the need to put any live animal in harm’s way.
In the age of advanced CGI technology, there is no need to use live animals in film and television productions.
People who want to drive this message home can make their opinion known by refusing to buy a ticket.
director of campaigns
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Australia