A judge is expected to today sum up today in the case of a couple facing animal cruelty charges in Palmerston North District Court.

Cat and dog breeders David and Daryl Balfour each face two charges of ill-treating animals and two of failing to prevent suffering between August 2006 and March 7 2007.

SPCA inspectors raided their Heretaunga Rd property, between Dannevirke and Woodville, on March 5, 2007.

They allegedly found 161 cats and 87 dogs living in allegedly poor conditions.


However, the couple's vet, Karen Phillips, gave evidence at the trial that SPCA inspectors were unprofessional when they raided the Tararua property.

Mr Balfour had called her to help assess and treat the animals, she said.

SPCA staff smoked at the property and also made "inappropriate'' comments while they were euthanasing 47 of the dogs, Mrs Phillips said.

She said that between the end of 2006 and January 2007, the Balfours' animal breeding operation had been plagued by outbreaks of ringworm and cat flu, and symptoms of a rare disease called panleukopenia.

When asked by the prosecution whether she had noticed the "grim" conditions the animals were allegedly found to be living in during house calls, Mrs Phillips said she had not noticed anything that caused her concern.