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'The Hobbit's Peter Jackson denies animal deaths accusations

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Peter Jackson has denied reports that 27 animals died on the set of The Hobbit trilogy due to mistreatment.

The director released a joint statement with the other producers of the films following an AP story claiming that animals were poorly housed close to the film's New Zealand set.

Peter Jackon on the set of 'The Hobbit' in New Zealend
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


"The producers completely reject the accusations that 27 animals died due to mistreatment during the making of the films," the statement read.

"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.

"Any incidents that occurred that were brought to [producers'] attention as regards to this care were immediately investigated and appropriate action taken."

Jackson added that hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent on animal welfare, explaining that over 55% of all shots involving animals in The Hobbit are computer generated.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - the first film in the planned trilogy - is released on December 14. Watch the trailer below:

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