Monday, November 19, 2012

Almost 30 Animals Killed While Filming The Hobbit

Death Traps Kill 27 Animals On Hobbit Farm

This is horrible! Reports are coming in that while filming The Hobbit trilogy more than 27 animal "actors" died from death traps and negligence! Animal wranglers who oversaw the animals, reported that the living conditions that the animals were housed in were plagued with "bluffs, sinkholes and other "death traps.""

The kicker is that because the animals weren't harmed during the actual filming of the movie, The Hobbit will still be permitted to say that 'no animals were harmed during the making of this movie', by the American Humane Society. 

The animals being used for The Hobbit movie, were not harmed during the movie, but the farm in which they were housed in was dangerous for the animals to be living in. This demonstrates serious flaws in a system that is supposed to protect animals from neglect and abuse. What's worse is that animal wranglers and caretakers who oversaw the animals said they complained about the conditions the animals were kept in, but their issues were not dealt with.
"The Associated Press spoke to four wranglers who said the farm near Wellington was unsuitable for horses because it was peppered with bluffs, sinkholes and broken-down fencing. They said they repeatedly raised concerns about the farm with their superiors and the production company, owned by Warner Bros., but it continued to be used. They say they want their story aired publicly now to prevent similar deaths in the future." []
Here are some of the injuries sustained by animals on "The Hobbit farm":
  • A miniature horse fell off a bank and broke his back. He was still alive when they found him but because of his injuries they had to put him down. 
  • Two horse ripped their legs open on fencing, both survived but suffer permanent injuries. 
  • Another horse fell over a bluff and was found drowned in a stream. 
  • A total of 12 goats and sheep died from a variety of things: from falling into sinkholes, getting worms and the new feed. Apparently they new feed that the animal were given cause sever bloating and death. 
  • A few goats died of exposure to cold.
  • About 12 Chickens were mauled by dogs, simply because they were left outside.
A lot of the deaths appear to have been avoidable. One of the wranglers, named Chris Langridge, said he tried to fill in the sinkholes and fence the animals in properly, so the horses wouldn't fall off the bluffs or break their legs in sinkholes, but the task proved too difficult. After several animals died and his complaints fell on deaf ears, he resigned.

As a fan of Lord of the Rings and someone who has been following any and all Hobbit news, this story saddens me deeply. I will not be able to watch the movie without thinking about the animals that suffered and died in accidents that could have been preventable. Animal cruelty certainly takes the fun out of a movie. 

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