New Zealand government must probe Hobbit 'abuse': Peta
NEW YORK (AFP) - The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) called on New Zealand's government on Monday to probe what it said was the death of horses, chickens and other animal extras on the set of The Hobbit movies.
After producers of Peter Jackson's highly anticipated Tolkien trilogy rejected earlier accusations of animal mistreatment, United States (US)-based Peta said it was time for the government to "investigate these allegations for possible violations of New Zealand animal protection laws and take appropriate action".
Peta said that if its information was "accurate, the production company and others are surely criminally responsible for these injuries and deaths". The group says that animal wranglers on the film reported the deaths of at least 27 animals, including three horses, six goats, six sheep and 12 chickens.
Incidents allegedly included a pony named Rainbow which broke its neck and back after being stabled with two "highly-strung" horses, and chickens killed by dogs.