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Accusations Of Animal Abuse, Death At The Hobbit

Submitted by on November 20, 2012 – 9:46 am25 Comments

There’s trouble in Middle Earth. Animal wranglers for the movie The Hobbit now allege that the production company is responsible for dozens of animals deaths, specifically horses kept at a farm full of “death traps.”

The AP reports that four separate trainers, three of them speaking publicly, have stepped forward to accuse Peter Jackson and his production company of housing animals on a farm full of unsafe conditions like sinkholes and bluffs, causing the death and injury of at least five horses and several goats, chickens, and a sheep.

A spokesman for Jackson both acknowledged that the first two horse deaths “were avoidable,” and claimed that the production spent hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading facilities after the early incidents.

In a statement, Jackson and the producers also acknowledge ”incidents” occurring, but “completely reject the accusations that twenty seven animals died during the making of the film,” a figure that has been reported elsewhere.

The Hobbit‘s reputation is also suffering in the human world: after a prolonged dispute with the New Zealand actors union, the production is now facing accusations that local actors are being mistreated and dismissed if they speak out.

What do you think? Do either of these factors affect your view of The Hobbit movies?

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