Volatile activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has recently put forth a statement aggressively condemning the production team of the Amazon Prime Video series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” in the wake of a horse dying while on set.
Reportedly, the horse died back on the 21st of March while exercising on the U.K. set before the start of both rehearsals and filming — a necropsy was carried out later which confirmed that the death of the animal was due to cardiac arrest.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a production horse died on 21st March,” explained a spokesperson for Amazon in a release made on the morning of this past Sunday. “The incident took place in the morning whilst the horse was being exercised prior to rehearsals. The trainer was not in costume and filming had yet to commence. Both a veterinarian and a representative of the American Humane Association were present at the time. The independent necropsy has confirmed that the horse died of cardiac failure.”
As explained in a report coming from the entertainment site Variety, there were close to 30 horses being utilized for the second season of “The Rings of Power” — at the time of the incident, there were close to 20 horses on set, along with both an American Humane Association representative and a veterinarian.
The horse in question was supplied to the set via a Buckinghamshire-based company known for giving horses for the filming of “Wonder Woman,” “Justice League,” “Transformers: The Last Knight,” Game of Thrones,” and “The Crown” known as The Devil’s Horseman. This is the very first known horse fatality in the fifty-year history of the company.
“It seems that living underground with the orcs is par for the course for the producers of ‘The Rings of Power,’ because they have the option to use CGI, mechanical rigs and other humane methods that wouldn’t run vulnerable horses to death on set,” exclaimed Lisa Lange, the senior vice president of PETA, in a release.
“PETA is calling on the show’s creators — and all other producers — to take on a new quest without using any real horses. If they can’t avoid exploiting animals for their art, they should find a new medium, because no one wants to see a spinoff for TV with torment as the theme,” she finished matter-of-factly.
The activist group has repeatedly sounded the call for an end to using real horses- and other animals- in any film, making the argument that filmmakers should just use CGI instead of animals. If they won’t do that then PETA demands that they keep an animal behaviorist on hand to try and mitigate mistreatment.