An Auckland man has been sentenced to home detention and banned from owning animals after being caught keeping around 600 birds in "abhorrent" conditions.
Keshva Rajan pleaded guilty in the Manukau District Court to three charges including ill-treatment and failure to ensure the health needs of an animal.
Rajan was found to be keeping around 600 chickens, roosters and ducks in overcrowded conditions with no dry area, no shelter and no adequate food when visited by an SPCA inspector in 2014.
The birds had severe feather loss, were very thin and were walking around in thick mud and faeces - amongst the bodies of other dead birds.
The birds had been so hungry they were trying to feed on the decomposing birds.
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said the birds had suffered a huge amount of pain and stress at the owners' hands.
"They were severely emaciated, dehydrated, had significant feather loss, and were riddled with lice and worms.
"Their owner had completely failed to ensure their needs were being met."
It was the second time SPCA responded to an animal welfare complaint at a property run by Rajan.
Between 2012 and 2013 Rajan had been under investigation for a number of breaches of the Animal Welfare Act in relation to sheep, goats, pigs, ducks and chickens he was keeping as part of an illegal poultry and home kill business.
Rajan has pleaded guilty to three charges of willful ill-treatment of an animal, ill-treatment of an animal and failure to ensure the needs of an animal are met with both good practice and scientific knowledge.
He was sentenced to six months home detention, 150 hours of community work and ordered to pay veterinary and court costs to a total value of $3840.
The SPCA inspector has also seized multiple birds from Rajan and taken them for veterinary treatment.
Midgen said it was disappointing that Rajan didn't follow orders after the first series of inspections.
"Unfortunately, Mr Rajan did not co-operate and we were compelled to prosecute."