Last week, a former wrangler who worked with animals on the set of The Hobbit mounted a protest outside the farm where the animals were kept. Two New Zealand newspapers, Kapi-Mana News and City Life Porirua News, and TheOneRing.net reported the man’s claims that several animals died during production due to “incompetence”.
The American Humane Association monitored the safe and humane treatment of animal actors during filming of The Hobbit in New Zealand. It has sent TheOneRing.net a statement that the Association investigated the deaths of the animals — which were not being used as animal actors at the time.
The Association says that its “stringent Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media were rigorously applied and followed throughout the production.”
Read the statement from the American Humane Association in full below the cut.
“In 2011, while filming was being conducted in New Zealand for The Hobbit, which was monitored by one of our Certified Safety Representatives to ensure the safe and humane treatment of the animal actors in the movie, we were made aware of claims by a former contractor of the production company alleging that animals living on a working farm that was being used to house some of the animal actors being used for the production had died.”
“None of the animals in question died during filming action or were being used as animal actors when the incidents occurred.”
“Nevertheless, being a humane organization concerned with the welfare of all animals, we did an investigation. While our jurisdiction over animals covers housing on-set, we recommended that safety improvements be made to the animals’ living areas, and the production company was responsive, upgrading fences, improving farm housing, and educating farmhands to encourage them to use the same high standard of care on the farm as on the set.”
“Not only were we able to increase safety for animals not involved in production on the farm that was being used, but our stringent Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media were rigorously applied and followed throughout the production.”
American Humane Association’s Film & TV Unit
11530 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604