Wranglers: Hobbit Production Responsible for 27 Animal Deaths

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Wranglers: Hobbit Production Responsible for 27 Animal Deaths

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PETA reportedly plans to stage protests at the New Zealand, US and UK premieres of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Animal wranglers involved in the making of the upcoming Hobbit trilogy claim that the production has caused up to 27 avoidable animal deaths. According to the wranglers, the animals died because the farm they were kept on when they weren't working was filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other "death traps." The wranglers claim they repeatedly raised concerns about the farm, which housed some 150 animals during the production, with their superiors, but that no changes were made. Wrangler, Johnny Smythe, claims he was fired after arguing with his boss about the treatment of the animals.

The American Humane Association confirms that no animals were harmed during the actual filming, but admits that it only monitors film sets, not the facilities where animals are housed and trained. The association did investigate the farm at the production company's request and recommended a number of changes, including upgraded fences and farm housing.

Matt Dravitzki, a spokesperson for director, Peter Jackson, confirmed that numerous horses, goats, chickens and one sheep died at the farm, and that at least two of the deaths were "avoidable." He also claimed that some of the 27 deaths were down to natural causes and that the company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading the housing and stable facilities in early 2011.

"We do know those deaths were avoidable and we took steps to make sure it didn't happen again," he said.

Dravitzki added that the company no longer leases the farm and none of its animals have been left on the property. He also pointed out that Peter Jackson had adopted three of the pigs used in the filming.

Everyone's favorite terrorist-funding, animal rights organization, PETA, has caught wind of the controversy, and reportedly intends to stage protests at the New Zealand, US and UK premieres of the film.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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All I got from that article was the Hobbit is probably getting free advertisement from naked crazy chicks. Good for you, Peter Jackson!

I can't say I really care one way or the other, animals die on a daily basis to feed me, I can't see a problem with a few dying in the service of making a good film, even if what Wrangler claims is true.

Picket the Movie because one person working on it was irresponsible. Completely rational.

Farm accidents happen all the time.

Quaxar:
All I read was the Hobbit is getting free advertisement from naked crazy chicks. Good for you, Peter Jackson!

Yes, I needed a good reminder about The Hobbit.
What was that about crazy naked chicks?

Eating a turkey and pigmeat sandwich as I write this. PETA ranks up there with Westboro Baptist. Any movie that uses as many animals as a Middle Earth production is going to have accidents and deaths. Stuff happens, move on. Back to eating my turkey and pigmeat sandwich, yum.

Pity none of them were giant Spiders.

JoJo:
I can't say I really care one way or the other, animals die on a daily basis to feed me, I can't see a problem with a few dying in the service of making a good film, even if what Wrangler claims is true.

http://movies.msn.com/movies/article.aspx?news=775499
Not sure what got the rest of livestock but the problem for the horses was that they weren't given enough open space to run in. The farm in question had a lot of bluffs and sinkholes that could take them by surprise at a gallop. So the horses ended up breaking their backs and necks because they couldn't see the drop-off coming. They weren't going to feed anybody so it was a complete waste of life.

The Hobbit production was responsible for the deaths of 27 animals. That is less than a drop in the barrel when compared to the amount of animal deaths that PETA is responsible for.

Doom972:

Quaxar:
All I read was the Hobbit is getting free advertisement from naked crazy chicks. Good for you, Peter Jackson!

Yes, I needed a good reminder about The Hobbit.
What was that about crazy naked chicks?

Edited that post for easier understanding. I'm assuming PETA is going to protest the only way they can... maybe they'll go with fake blood but my hope is on the naked models dressed as hobbits bludgeoning rabbits with battleaxes.

This movie just can't get rid of its bad buzz, can it?

Still, one doubts this is the only time this has happened on a movie set. What about all those movies that have horses fall over? Sure, they're trained for that kind of thing, but you can't tell me a good deal of them didn't meet their fate by breaking their leg during these particular moments.

Still, when 27 animals die because of negligence, that's nothing to sneeze at.

The problem with New Zealand is this: The terrain isn't the easiest to keep animals on. Horses especially are sensitive to the rocks and bluffs on land. It's not unheard of for horses falling like that in New Zealand. Sheep can handle it (being a species that likes rocks and mountains), but horses can't. You also have problems with stray dogs getting into hutches, barns, and paddocks. No lock is completely immune to be evaded by a hungry animal.

From what I've heard, soon after some of these complaints were made, a lot of fixes were done to help keep the animals safer. Just...PETA is making a big deal out of this NOW.

Is it bad that the only part of that I found interesting was that Peter Jackson adopted three of the pigs?

DVS BSTrD:
Pity none of them were giant Spiders.

Giant spiders would have to exist then and that's far worse.

And to be OT:

Yeah PETA won't make much of a diffrence here, I feel that charges should be brought for the dead animals but against those who were actually responsible and not the whole movie in general.

If you're an animal, I'm pretty sure dying during the production of The Hobbit is the most honorable death you're gonna get, unless you're one of those animals that saves lives or something. If I was that one sheep, I would be proud to be turned into the mutton the giants were complaining about.

The problem about picketing ouside of a Lord of the Rings film, unlike most films say Harry Potter or even Star Wars, many of them will probably be in costume, weilding wooden to dull bladed weapons. You'll likely have a whole army chasing you down the street if you try to prevent them from seeing the movie.

They WILL release the trolls on those PETA assholes.

I can almost hear the hypocrisy. If the cast and crew were going around kicking them into pits then they might rank as bad as PETA but, as it stands, accidents have been known to happen from time to time and if they get in the way of me going to see the film then I will beat them to death with one of those cinema cardboard cutouts. A slow, humiliating and tedious death.

It's worth it if the movie is good.

PETA murders THOUSANDS of animals each year...

They have NO RIGHT to bitch about 27.

Grey Carter:
The American Humane Association confirms that no animals were harmed during the actual filming, but admits that it only monitors film sets, not the facilities where animals are housed and trained.

Why am I not surprised? I've yet to see a group with "humane" in the title that wasn't a bunch of incompetents or an outright racket.

TheRightToArmBears:
Is it bad that the only part of that I found interesting was that Peter Jackson adopted three of the pigs?

Yeah that is the one part that jumped out at me as well

the rest? Not a single fuck was given, just a few animals dieing (a lot of them do that every day I hear), PETA being hypocrites when they kill more animals on a daily basis than died in the production of the movie, and a Hollywood group dropping the ball on their jobs.

dragongit:
The problem about picketing ouside of a Lord of the Rings film, unlike most films say Harry Potter or even Star Wars, many of them will probably be in costume, weilding wooden to dull bladed weapons. You'll likely have a whole army chasing you down the street if you try to prevent them from seeing the movie.

They WILL release the trolls on those PETA assholes.

One of those will probably be me. If any one of those assholes try to get in the way of me seeing that movie, I will personally hold them down and beat them to a pulp.

PETA is in the right on this one, these deaths were avoidable and the fact that they didn't prevent the deaths in the first place is reason enough to protest it. If a movie costs innocent lives the movie should never even be released.

They just like to protest, let them protest.
Plus, if we didn't talk about them they would be long gone.

Now bring in the naked chicks.

If it were almost anyone other than PETA, it would be much easier to work up some indignation. Sure, I'm not for unnecessary animal deaths, but PETA's very presence all but ascertains that something is being blown way out of proportion.

What I really want is for PETA and the Westboro Baptist Church to get on opposite sides of an issue and then irritate each other until heads start spontaneously exploding. Preferably someplace where they have to do their own clean-up.

dragongit:
The problem about picketing ouside of a Lord of the Rings film, unlike most films say Harry Potter or even Star Wars, many of them will probably be in costume, weilding wooden to dull bladed weapons. You'll likely have a whole army chasing you down the street if you try to prevent them from seeing the movie.

They WILL release the trolls on those PETA assholes.

PETA will be wearing skimpy chainmail bikinis though, and those give as much protection as full plate armour.

As soon as I finished reading the paragraph were PETA decides to go ahead and protest (even if Jackson adopted three pigs after the incidents), I couldn't help but remember this web comic:

(xThanks)

Its amazing that a non-profit entity has all this money for international flights while most animal shelters, shelters that keep animals alive rather than euthanize them for fun, have trouble keeping their doors open.

I wonder how many animals PETA killed this month.. Probably more than 27.

I honestly want them to protest at my cinema as I plan to go to that premiere with friends and would love to flip them off for their trouble. It's the little things in life.

PETA protest in New Zealand. Drunken Maori start a brawl. Best premiere ever.

Xan Krieger:
PETA is in the right on this one, these deaths were avoidable and the fact that they didn't prevent the deaths in the first place is reason enough to protest it. If a movie costs innocent lives the movie should never even be released.

Too little too late for PETA to protest? The animals aren't being kept on the farm anymore and it's not like they continued to ignore the problem. Besides it's just a bunch of farm animals, hardly any reason to lose sleep over, so saying the movie should never be released because 27 of them died is rather ridiculous.

...And not a single fuck was given from me. And how are these guys are going to get away with arguing this? Seems like they lost all cred they had a while back... (I've never heard of these guys.)

I find it funny that PETA's solution is to use CGI animals. It seems more humane to film animals on the set than to stick them in front of a green screen and coax them to make the desired movements. Besides, the problem was on the farm, not the set, so CGI wouldn't accomplish anything...

Unless every movie studio has been working on an extensive CGI database that perfectly models the movement of every muscle of every living thing ever.

Tanis:
PETA murders THOUSANDS of animals each year...

They have NO RIGHT to bitch about 27.

Ignoring an arbitrary link of proof, these are my exact thoughts.

PETA has absolutely no ground to complain if a mere 20-some animals die by accident when they actively kill over hundreds each year.

oh noo animals ran off a hill and into the sea lets all cry that sort of thing happens every day and its unreasonable to expect the farmer fence kilometres and kilometres of impassable terrain rather than being reasonable and expecting animals to have at least some sense of self-preservation
its not like there are shotguns attached to tripwires and pressure plates all over the farm
sure the deaths may have been "avoidable" but is that avoidable in reality or in fantasy? farmers hate stock going over cliffs cause they cost thousands each but you have to weigh the cost benefits of the actions rather than bowing to the long haired dole bludging hippy types

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