Hobbit producers deny animal deaths on set
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) - The producers of The Hobbit movies on Tuesday rejected allegations that animals died on set during the making of director Peter Jackson's highly anticipated Tolkien trilogy in New Zealand.
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said up to 27 animals, including horses, sheep, goats and chickens, died during filming, prompting it to plan protests against the movies, the first of which has its world premiere in Wellington next week.
Jackson and the producers said in a statement that the American Humane Association monitored all use of animals during the shoot and "no animals died or were harmed on set during filming".
"The producers completely reject the accusations that 27 animals died due to mistreatment during the making of the films," the statement said.