PETA asks Jackson to make CGI pledge
Animal rights campaigners PETA have asked Peter Jackson to pledge that he will only use CGI animals in future films.
The request comes following accusations by animal wranglers working on 'The Hobbit' films that 27 animals died during filming due to unsafe living conditions.
[Related story: Jackson denies Hobbit animal death claims]
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Jackson and the film's producers have denied the claims.
But PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have still requested that the director change his approach to using animals in his films in future.
“Jackson should be giving a firm assurance that this will never happen again,” read a statement given to The Wrap.
“He is the CGI master, and has the ability to make the animals and other interesting creatures in his movies 100% CGI, and PETA calls on him again to do so.”
The campaigners have said that they plan to protest at the film's premieres in the UK, the US and New Zealand.
Accusations of animal mistreatment on set emerged earlier this week.
Wranglers working on the film claimed that the farm hired for as many as 150 animals to live on during the production was 'a deathtrap' littered with sinkholes and other hazards.
But Jackson and the producers of the Tolkien adaptations 'completely reject' the claims.
“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,” read a statement.
“Over 55 percent of all shots using animals in 'The Hobbit' are in fact computer generated; this includes horses, ponies, rabbits, hedgehogs, birds, deer, elk, mice, wild boars and wolves.
“The American Humane Association (AHA) was on hand to monitor all use of animals by the production. No animals died or were harmed on set during filming.”