Director Peter Jackson Denies "The Hobbit" Animal Abuse

Posted Monday November 19, 2012 5:10 PM GMT

After coming under fire for as many as 27 animal deaths on the set of "The Hobbit" trilogy, director Peter Jackson has come out to deny any abuse.

Earlier, four New Zealand-based wranglers who worked on the production claimed that the farm that housed over 150 animals used for the film had bluffs and sinkholes that were responsible for the deaths of 27 horses, goats, sheep, and chickens.

However, in a statement released Monday (November 19), Jackson and other producers state that hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent to care for the animals.

He insists, "The producers completely reject the accusations that twenty seven animals died due to mistreatment during the making of the films. Extraordinary measures were taken to make sure that animals were not used during action sequences or any other sequence that might create undue stress for the animals involved."

Later in the statement, the "Lord of the Rings" director notes that more than 55% of the animal shots were computer generated. In response, the American Humane Association, which oversees animal welfare on films, has admitted that no animals were harmed during the shooting of "The Hobbit."

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