Published: 00:01, 29 March 2014
A man who seemed oblivious to the appalling conditions his animals were living in when challenged by the RSPCA has been found guilty of causing them unnecessary suffering.
Warren Salter, 43, left 93 animals at an address in Holm Hill, Harrietsham, while he went on holiday last July.
They included three birds of prey and poultry, including some very young birds, as well as a ferret and her kits.
Salter, of Tolgate Way, Maidstone, asked neighbours to care for the animals while he was away, but they were so concerned about the conditions they had been left in, they rang the RSPCA.
The animal charity had been called once before and inspectors had given him advice on how to keep the animals, but when they returned, they found things had deteriorated.
Despite very wet conditions, many of the birds had no shelter from the driving rain.
RSPCA inspector Caroline Doe said: “The conditions we found these birds in were appalling – not a suitable environment at all. There were suffering birds everywhere I looked.
“The poultry were all cooped up in fenced-in, makeshift pens which were a complete mess – full of muck with no proper shelter.
"Most of the birds were in a really bad condition as a result of this terrible environment. Many were sick and later died.
“The owner just seemed oblivious to how bad things had actually got.”
At Sevenoaks Magistrates Court, Salter was disqualified for five years from keeping poultry, given a conditional discharge of 24 months and made to pay £260 in costs, in the case brought by the RSPCA.
The surviving birds were taken into care by the charity and have since been rehomed.
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