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  1. #1
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    Default "Hobbit" Movie Horses & Other Livestock Deaths

    This is absolutely unconscionable in EVERY way, shape, & form. ESPECIALLY in this day & age when animals used in film are supposed to be protected. You couldn't pay me ANY amount of money to EVER watch this film & line the pockets of the scum that produced it. However, it would be interesting to see if the usual Humane Society "No animals were harmed during filming" bullsh*t rolls through the credits. Can't help but feel that that credit will be sort of illegal, yes?


    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/...-farm-17758084


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  2. #2
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    No animals were harmed during the actual filming. The problems occurred at the farm where the animals were housed during the filming. Apparently there were a lot of sinkholes, bluffs, uneven ground, etc. that the animals got caught in and were killed or injured. One horse apparently coliced and died, a couple of others were injured by wire fences and some chickens were killed by dogs.


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  3. #3
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    Yeah, that's not the sort of thing that the production company can simply change. They had to use what was available to them and they did take steps to improve conditions, but there is only so much they can do against Nature. Is it sad? Yes. But it is not an act of evil since they did not ignore the problem and took steps to improve it as best they could.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!


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  4. #4
    Bacardi1 is offline Banned Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweiners View Post
    No animals were harmed during the actual filming. The problems occurred at the farm where the animals were housed during the filming. Apparently there were a lot of sinkholes, bluffs, uneven ground, etc. that the animals got caught in and were killed or injured. One horse apparently coliced and died, a couple of others were injured by wire fences and some chickens were killed by dogs.
    I'm stymied by your response. So these deaths aren't horrible & the responsibility of the film makers because they happened off set?? What a strange & frankly scary mindset you have. Glad you don't live anywhere near me.

    I still find the film producers totally responsible for this. Out-of-sight/Out-of-mind doesn't cut it. Used to way back when animals were treated like Hollywood props, but definitely NOT today.

    I can only hope that many folks will boycott this film. I know I will. Sadly, there are so many delirious "Tolkien/Hobbit" groupies who won't give a damn, that any boycotting will most likely be a moot point.


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  5. #5
    Bacardi1 is offline Banned Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    Yeah, that's not the sort of thing that the production company can simply change. They had to use what was available to them and they did take steps to improve conditions, but there is only so much they can do against Nature. Is it sad? Yes. But it is not an act of evil since they did not ignore the problem and took steps to improve it as best they could.
    Respectfully disagree. It was the film producers' responsibility to ensure that the livestock used in the film were housed & treated properly. This should have been ensured well beforehand, not just a "oh geez, we didn't know it would be so horrible & need to fix it after the fact".

    Honestly, these films cost MILLIONS of dollars to produce. This sort of thing shouldn't be outside of the budget. Maybe pay the lame actors less & spend a little more to ensure the "extras" get better treatment or aren't outright killed.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    I'm stymied by your response. So these deaths aren't horrible & the responsibility of the film makers because they happened off set?? What a strange & frankly scary mindset you have. Glad you don't live anywhere near me.

    I still find the film producers totally responsible for this. Out-of-sight/Out-of-mind doesn't cut it. Used to way back when animals were treated like Hollywood props, but definitely NOT today.

    I can only hope that many folks will boycott this film. I know I will. Sadly, there are so many delirious "Tolkien/Hobbit" groupies who won't give a damn, that any boycotting will most likely be a moot point.
    Unless you know for a fact that the producers and actors, etc, where chasing the animals through the fence....you are implying that just because they are the movie company they are not allowed to have accidents and a string of bad luck (which I read a long time back that the movie seemed to accumulate an extraordinary amount of such, to the point it almost didn't happen)

    I have a dog kill my chickens, I am scum, and should I happen to lose a horse through accident or colic.

    Gotcha.

    In essence though, they HSUS claim (a club that needs to burn in hell anyhow, as far as I am concerned, after all, they give PP accolades) that on the set nothing happened. The working conditions for the horses were safe enough.

    On the other hand, you won't get the designation if a meteor fall out of the sky and lands on your horses head while on set. Nobody's fault but still.
    In essence, the byline is worthless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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  7. #7
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    Were there non-movie livestock already living at the farm? It seems they rented an existing farm, I assume it had some grazing animals there. I agree the sinkholes needed to be filled in or fenced in, but I would assume that grazing animals might be expected to encounter a bluff every now and then - if this farm had bluffs and also normally has animals on it, its animals live with bluffs, right?


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  8. #8
    Bacardi1 is offline Banned Premium Member
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    Guys - by all means, go see the movie. (Maybe say a little prayer for the livestock you see that are no longer alive?)

    Make sure you wear your little Hobbit outfits - LOL!!!



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    I'm sad that a few of the 150 animals died at the farm they were kept at, it's always sad when an animal dies unnaturally.

    However, this statement made by one of the wranglers is just ridiculous:
    "He said horses run at speeds of up to 30 mph and need to be housed on flat land: "It's just a no-brainer."
    If that were true then you had better arrest me and put me in jail for endangering my horses lives since they live on a hill.

    And then there is this statement by another wrangler:
    "Smythe said no autopsy was performed on the horse, which was named Zeppelin. Veterinary records say the horse died of natural causes, from a burst blood vessel, but Smythe said the horse was bloated and its intestines were full of a yellow liquid; he believes it died of digestive problems caused by new feed."
    How does he know the intestines were full of a yellow liquid if no one cut open the horse to check?

    I am sorry that I cannot be as up in arms as you would like but I do hope that movie producers do a better job in the future to make sure someone knowledgeable checks on the facilities intended to house the animals. This event will not stop me from watching the movie.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    Guys - by all means, go see the movie. (Maybe say a little prayer for the livestock you see that are no longer alive?)

    Make sure you wear your little Hobbit outfits - LOL!!!
    good grief, how old are you?

    The article - as usual - is full of crap.
    If the conditions were so bad, why did they not go public in 2010, and not 2 years later. Oh, at the opening of the movie....

    The goats contracted worms? how evil the film makers are...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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  11. #11
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    If things were so bad, why would this person not give further information as requested???
    The whole thing sounds strange. The article is not very well written or seemingly researched. If PETA is involved it probably sounds way worse than it actually was. Not to mention whoever wrote the article knows nothing about animals.

    Chris Langridge said he responded to Yorke's request for more information but never received a reply after that.


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  12. #12
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    well, assuming the facts in the article are correct:
    two horses jumped off bluffs and died; one horse had a stroke?; some horses cut themselves on bad fencing. The bad fencing is preventable, but the others?

    Smythe said the six goats and six sheep he buried died after falling into sinkholes, contracting worms or getting new feed after the grass was eaten. He said the chickens were often left out of their enclosure and that a dozen were mauled to death by dogs on two separate occasions.
    shouldn't this all be blamed on whomever was in charge of the livestock (namely, Smythe), not the production company? if you're in charge of taking care of some goats and you fail to deworm them and feed them in such a way that they die, I'd say it was your fault.


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  13. #13
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    The article says once the production company knew there was a problem, they asked AHA to investigate. AHA did, and made some recommendations for improvements. Improvements were made.

    Sad, but I don't see how it's the movie's fault.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    This is absolutely unconscionable in EVERY way, shape, & form. ESPECIALLY in this day & age when animals used in film are supposed to be protected. You couldn't pay me ANY amount of money to EVER watch this film & line the pockets of the scum that produced it. However, it would be interesting to see if the usual Humane Society "No animals were harmed during filming" bullsh*t rolls through the credits. Can't help but feel that that credit will be sort of illegal, yes?


    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/...-farm-17758084
    It's the American Humane Association, not the Humane Society, and assuming they monitored a NEW ZEALAND production, if they interpret farm accidents (and not actual accidents during the production of the film) as part of it, the credit will just say "Animal action was monitored by the AHA." Pay attention, not every film gets the add-on "No animals were harmed in the making of this film." And that's ALL they do-they don't have any sort of legal authority. (And HSUS and PETA have absolutely nothing to do with anything and it's none of their business if they reenacted a neolithic hunt by driving buffalo off a cliff, never mind a horse in a pasture accident.)

    Horses destroy themselves all the time. Even COTHers' horses, living on perfectly flat ground who are coddled and padded and as close to bubble-wrapped as we can get them.


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  15. #15
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    Barcadi! - so nice to know that you consider me a mean evil person! I used to graze my horses in this area. Never had a problem in >20 years and most people I know dont either. A horse doesnt need a flat paddock for God's sake - actually a little bit of effort daily keeps them healthier. I am not saying that we didnt get the odd sprain or wire cut but generally the horses were good and fit.

    It is rough country around Wellington - it is a known earthquake zone with four major faultlines running through it - Wairarapa, Wellington, Ohariu and Long Gully. The land is rolling to steep - as is a lot of New Zealand (aka "the Shaky Isles") - and there is very little flat land and certainly not for grazing livestock. But hey, who needs the gym? Just walk to work .

    With these steep hills, well bluffs happen! Horses are also silly enough to run off them .

    It was what we had to graze our livestock (incl horses) on. Does that make it alright? From what I have seen, in your opinion, no - but I could poke holes in anyone's places to keep horses. (Hey, where we live now is drought prone - I am waiting for the 1st one in 4 years so my horses can lose a little weight as I am struggling to keep them down! Those hills were brillant at keeping the horses exercised - what we called "grass-fit".)

    The trouble with sink holes is that you often dont know that they are there before the roof collapses in - I have seen it happen in real-time. I was riding on a quad helping the farmer move some sheep - he had just gone over the ground and I was about to start when the ground just collapsed in front of me. Guess what, it was five metres deep - and the farmer had been on that farm for >60 years and didnt even know that the area was "unstable". He knew that there were sink-holes and they were fenced off from stock - even those the local crazies practiced some basic caving skills in them . When we first moved our horses onto his farm, he told us where they were and told us what to look for - in case any new ones developed.

    Onto the fencing - well steep hills are fenced. Unfortunately, horses and fences (regardless of what they are made of) dont always mix well. These are hard farms and they do not lend themselves in being fenced in "horse-friendly" tapes etc. Besides the cost, to be frank, no "horse friendly" tapes could stand the wind-loading on the long runs of fencing that occur around Wellington. Even Gallagher - who invented "horse-friendly" tapes - dont recommend it for the long steep runs in Wellington! On the farm where I used to graze my horses, we had fence lines of >1km in length up a # of hills.

    The other stock losses - well, sorry, but I read far worse on this bulletin board every day.

    I wont change your mind. Dont care, I am just tired of people being intolerant of actions that they dont agree with - without knowing facts.
    Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    I'm stymied by your response. So these deaths aren't horrible & the responsibility of the film makers because they happened off set?? What a strange & frankly scary mindset you have. Glad you don't live anywhere near me.

    I still find the film producers totally responsible for this. Out-of-sight/Out-of-mind doesn't cut it. Used to way back when animals were treated like Hollywood props, but definitely NOT today.

    I can only hope that many folks will boycott this film. I know I will. Sadly, there are so many delirious "Tolkien/Hobbit" groupies who won't give a damn, that any boycotting will most likely be a moot point.
    I didn't say the deaths weren't tragic. I just pointed out that the animals didn't die during filming but at the facility where they were kept. Sorry that scared you Barcardi. I don't know very much about the film industry and animals but I was under the impression that most film animals were supplied to film makers by companies that specialized in such things. So wouldn't the company that actually owned the animals be responsible for providing safe, adequate facilities for them? I doubt if the average film maker knows squat about animal care. I don't know much about New Zealand topography but it sounds like a bunch of animals that were unfamiliar with the area were brought in and turned loose into strange pastures. There seemed to be some other problems with the animal husbandry but I don't see how that's the film company's fault.


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  17. #17
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    The way that article is written it comes off as an ill informed smear campaign. I will not give it a second thought as I am enjoying the movie.


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  18. #18
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    Add me to those people who keep horses on the steep NZ hills. Mine are fine... although for some reason they seem to injure themselves occasionally in the one flat paddock I have
    I also have had an alarming experience with a Tomo (sinkhole). We had been milking on this dairy farm for two years, the owner had lived there his entire life and taken over from his Dad, so roughly 80 years or so. NO one had ever seen it before! I put the cows in a flat (lol) paddock and went back to check on them a couple of hours later. I rode the quad in and could hear a funny tinkling noise after I turned it off. A Tomo opened up directly in front of me and only quick reversing got us to safety. As incredulous people came to look it got bigger and bigger. The tinkling noise turned out to be a stream so deep we could only just hear it.
    To me, several of the wranglers problems were of their own making: goat with worms, chooks not shut away etc.
    Several friends have loaned horses to the production and have been very happy with the condition they returned in.







    looked around and the Tomo opened up at my feet


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    The way that article is written it comes off as an ill informed smear campaign. I will not give it a second thought as I am enjoying the movie.
    Ohmagosh, don't forget your hobbit outfit! I will wave to you from my seat!


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  20. #20
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    27 horse deaths seems alot. Is that above or below the average loss of horses on one New Zealand farm?



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