Couple fined, banned from owning pets
Wed, 04 Jul 2012 6:36a.m.
The SPCA says it is happy with a 20-year ban on owning pets for a Dannevirke couple convicted of animal cruelty as it effectively means a lifetime ban.
Former international dog show judge, David Neil Balfour and his wife Daryl Kirsty Reid Balfour, in their 60s and 50s respectively, were last week ordered to pay the SPCA $25,000 after they were found guilty of three animal cruelty charges.
The couple were also disqualified for owning or exercising authority over cats and dogs for a period of 20 years, except for any animals they already owned.
"We are pleased with the length of the disqualification which, given the age of the defendants, is effectively a lifetime ban," SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said on Tuesday.
"This long term disqualification of the Balfours will prevent them from breeding and inflicting further cruelty on other animals."
In 2007 the SPCA found 161 cats and kittens and 87 dogs and pups in atrocious conditions on the Balfours' Dannevirke property.
Dealing with the puppy and kitten farming venture on the Balfours' scale was a first for New Zealand and had taken an enormous amount of time and effort for the SPCA, she said.
"Finally we have assurance that the Balfours cannot repeat their cruelty - that makes our work for the animals worthwhile."
Inspectors said the smell of urine and faeces at the property was so strong they were retching from the fumes.
About half of the cats and kittens had to be put down and the Balfours voluntarily destroyed about half of the dogs.
The case attracted protracted legal battles over evidence, with the Balfours arguing the SPCA had planted mistreated animals on their property.
It went to trial last year.
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