Couple appeal animal cruelty convictions
A marathon pet cruelty case has reached the Court of Appeal more than six years after the SPCA says it discovered in excess of 200 cats and dogs living in dingy conditions reeking of urine.
Husband and wife animal breeders David and Daryl Balfour are appealing against their convictions for failing to prevent suffering of dogs and cats and ill-treating cats.
The animals were kept at their property between Dannevirke and Woodville from August 2006 to March 2007.
The Balfours were each fined $12,500 and ordered to pay a total of $27,818.08 costs to the SPCA.
They were disqualified from having any new cats or dogs for the next 20 years.
SPCA inspectors raided their property on March 5, 2007, and found 161 cats and 87 dogs living in poor conditions.
The SPCA had allowed a television camera crew to record the raid but that evidence was later ruled inadmissible, after an objection by the Balfours.
But in the Court of Appeal at Wellington today the Balfours' lawyer, Eric Forster, said the District Court judge's ruling allowed eye witnesses to give their recollections of the scene which, by the time the case was heard, were four and a half years old.
Forster faced questions from the three Court of Appeal judges today for complaining about unfairness of a ruling which the Balfours had sought.
Forster said the unfairness was created when part of the evidence of the SPCA search was excluded but the rest was not.
The hearing is continuing.
The Dominion Post