The animal-rights group PETA will stage a protest at the Nov. 28 world premiere in Wellington, New Zealand, of the first episode of "The Hobbit" because of the suspected abuse of almost 30 animals when the movie was filmed, media reports said Tuesday.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) says 27 animals including horses, goats, sheep and chickens, were mutilated or died due to the mistreatment they received during the shooting of "The Hobbit" trilogy, the TVNZ network reported.
The abuse is believed to have occurred chiefly because the animals were enclosed on farms full of traps, drains and other deadly devices, TVNZ said.
Abuse of animals is a widespread practice of the international film industry and "The Hobbit" is one of the worst examples, PETA spokeswoman Kathy Guillermo told Radio New Zealand.
Director Peter Jackson and the producers of "The Hobbit" said in a statement that "extraordinary measures" were taken during the filming to make sure the animals were not used in action sequences or in stress-producing situations.
More than 55 percent of the scenes in "The Hobbit" in which animals appear are computer-generated imagery, or CGI, the filmmakers said. EFE