Animal cruelty 'rife in Hollywood'
A new report claims animal cruelty is rife in Hollywood - with blockbusters including The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Life Of Pi given as examples of films where creatures have suffered or even died.
An investigation by The Hollywood Reporter accuses the American Humane Association (AHA), who issue the "no animals were harmed" credit at the end of films, of failing to protect animals on set and covering up lapses, according to The Independent.
The report said that during filming of The Hobbit, an animal trainer reported to the AHA that 27 animals had died, including sheep and goats, from dehydration, exhaustion or drowning, but as the deaths took place off set it was said the AHA told him they couldn't officiate.
The Hobbit was given the carefully-worded credit that the AHA "monitored all of the significant animal action. No animals were harmed during such action".
The investigation also claimed that Life Of Pi featured a Bengal tiger which was said to have nearly drowned during filming in a water tank.
The report also alleged that in 2006 Disney film Eight Below Zero, a husky dog was punched in the diaphragm, a chipmunk was accidentally squashed in Failure To Launch, and in 2003's Pirates Of The Caribbean, dozens of dead fish and squid were washed ashore.
Luck, an HBO horse racing drama, was cancelled when four horses died during filming.
The AHA denied the report's allegations and said: "Far from allowing abuse or neglect to occur, we have a remarkably high safety record of 99.98 per cent on set.
"Despite our best efforts, there have occasionally been rare accidents, most of them minor and not intentional."