Farmer sentenced for animal abuse

One News, New Zealand
Sep 26, 2007

A chicken farmer has been forced out of business by a judge in New Zealand's first ever prosecution of a battery hen farm.

The Wellington District Court judge said the hefty sentence was a warning to companies that treat chickens as machines.

Trevor Chin was fined NZ$30,000 in fines and court costs and sentenced to 400 hours community service.

Chin and his business Wellington Egg Company pleaded guilty to 10 charges relating to abuse of chickens on his Judgeford Farm under the Animal Welfare Act.

Dead birds were cooped in with live chickens while hungry birds were forced to peck on rotting carcases.

The judge sentencing Chin expressed his outrage when giving the verdict.

"I just don't understand how you and your staff walked past and saw chicken heads stuck in the cage and unable to feed, and done this on a day to day basis" said Judge Gregory Ross.

Wellington SPCA say it is among the worst kind of animal cruelty they have seen.