Animal rights group PETA has criticised producers on The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power after a horse died on the show’s set.
Amazon confirmed a horse died from cardiac failure while rehearsing for season two last week. “We are deeply saddened to confirm that a production horse died on 21st March,” an Amazon Studios spokesperson said.
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“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.”
In a statement following the incident, PETA called for CGI to be used on TV and film productions instead of real animals.
Lisa Lange, PETA’s senior vice-president, said: “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.
“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 spin-off for TV with torment as the theme.”
According to Deadline, over 30 horses were being used on the show that day, which were supplied by The Devil’s Horsemen (Game Of Thrones, The Crown). The incident is said to be the first horse fatality in the company’s 50-year history.
The company is different to the horse supplier used on The Rings Of Power season one, after production moved from New Zealand to the UK.
It’s claimed the horse that collapsed was “standing with around 20 other horses”, which were reportedly being prepped for a battle scene.
Last year, PETA criticised HBO after a horse died on the second season of The Gilded Age. The network previously cancelled the racetrack drama series Luck after three horses died during production.