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Petitioning The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey-Peter Jackson

Never allow cobbling or animal abuse again and make a big donation to PETA

Movies are for the entertainment of humans, animals in those movies have no choice, the least we can do is be "human" and ensure they aren't abused, injured or killed.

Letter to
The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey-Peter Jackson
Never allow cobbling or animal abuse again and make a big donation to PETA.

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 Journey, we have asked authorities in New Zealand, where The Hobbit was filmed, to investigate and pursue appropriate criminal charges if warranted.

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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.

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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

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