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Animal wranglers say farm was unsuitable for horses

November 19, 2012 at 10:52 am by Demosthenes  - 

At the beginning of August, TheOneRing.net reported on allegations by a former animal wrangler that “incompetence” lead to the deaths of several animals used in the production while they were being housed at a farm outside of Wellington.

Now, The Associated Press has spoken with three other 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.

The American Humane Association, which is overseeing animal welfare on the films, says no animals were harmed during the actual filming. But it also says the wranglers’ complaints highlight shortcomings in its oversight system, which monitors film sets but not the facilities where the animals are housed and trained.

A spokesman for trilogy director Peter Jackson on Monday acknowledged that horses, goats, chickens and one sheep died at the farm near Wellington where about 150 animals were housed for the movies, but he said some of the deaths were from natural causes.

The spokesman, Matt Dravitzki, agreed that the deaths of two horses were avoidable, and said the production company moved quickly to improve conditions after they died.

[Full story]

Posted in Crew News, Hobbit Movie, Production, Studios, Warner Bros. on November 19, 2012 by
Source: The Associated Press Animal wranglers say farm was unsuitable for horses | Discuss