Four Hawke's Bay men accused of stealing and forcing 11 sheep into their vehicle have had charges of theft upgraded to burglary.
Gino Syrus Butler, 21, Raniera Owen Nathan, 35, Healey Te Are-Paul, 22, and Nicholas Fido, 21, appeared in Hastings District Court today charged with ill treating animals and burglary.
Hawke's Bay police earlier said they were ``appalled'' when on a routine patrol about 1am on February 20 they stopped a small hatchback car crammed with 11 hogtied lambs. Constable Darren Cooper said it was only luck that none of the animals had died.
The men were remanded by Judge Bridget Mackintosh to appear next month.
Three years ago 14 stolen sheep were found in a Mazda 626 on the streets of Hastings. In that case two men were jailed for 10 months and ordered to pay $4567 in reparation, and another man was sentenced to home detention.
A year later, 40 chooks bought from a poultry farm were rescued by authorities after being left in a car in a Hawke's Bay Hospital carpark for about three hours.