Who, age What Where When Last known address
David Balfour 135 dogs found Waipawa, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand June, 2005 Wairuhe, New Zealand
Kristy Reid 135 dogs found Waipawa, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand June, 2005 Wairuhe, New Zealand
Neil Muir 135 dogs found Waipawa, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand June, 2005  
David Balfour 161 cats & 87 dogs seized Woodville, New Zealand August 23, 2006  

Daryl Reid

aka Daryl Kristy Reid Balfour

161 cats & 87 dogs seized Woodville, New Zealand August 23, 2006  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date
  animal cruelty 212 dogs, 161 cats Convicted  

Ex-Waipawa dog breeder David Balfour will have to pay his share of a $63,000 bill for the cost of court proceedings in which he was ordered to get rid of more than 100 dogs last year.

The Central Hawke's Bay District Council has been awarded the $63,521 it cost to prosecute Balfour and other respondents Neil Muir and Kirsty Reid in the publicized court case.

The district council responded to complaints from Balfour's neighbours angry at the excessive noise made by the dogs and took him to court in June last year.

Balfour, a former teacher at Dannevirke High School and prominent in theatre and music in the district, has confirmed he intends to appeal the latest decision and the original decision in the High Court to find new homes for 125 of his 135 dogs.

If an appeal is lodged, the Council will seek legal advice on the best course of action to defend the appeal.

Balfour's treatment of the dogs was brought into question after television's 20/20 programme revealed the conditions they were being kept in.

The district's mayor Tim Gilbertson has said he is happy with the Environment Court's decision.

"It is very satisfying that the Court has supported Council by initially protecting the community from unacceptable noise from the kennels, and secondly by awarding Council and therefore its ratepayers the full costs of taking the case to court," Mr Gilbertson.

During the initial court case, Judge Newhook said considerable efforts to find a resolution had failed because of Balfour's attitude.

Balfour has since moved to a former piggery in Wairuhe, south of Oringi.

New Casefile 3/7/07:  The SPCA is still working at the Woodville property of well-known dog show judge David Balfour where dozens of dehydrated cats and sick dogs were found.

  (Photo courtesy of SPCA) SPCA national operations team leader Jim Boyd said today 160 cats had been removed from the property, but that 86 dogs remained there.

Balfour, a judge for the New Zealand Kennel Club, was likely to face charges in the next couple of weeks, Mr Boyd said.

The exact nature of the charges had yet to be determined.

Several SPCA staff needed medical treatment after being attacked at the property by the dogs, which had not been socialized.

Mr Boyd said he was appalled when he saw that at least half of the cats showed signs of dehydration.

It was clear Balfour loved animals, but he did not have the money or resources to care for them all properly, he said.

The future of the dogs was still being worked out, Mr Boyd said, but rehoming them was unlikely as their behaviour was "difficult".

Two years ago, Balfour was given a court order to get rid of all but 10 dogs when he was living in Waipawa, Hawke's Bay.

The SPCA is now likely to apply to the courts to prevent Balfour from ever owning any pets again.

The Kennel Club declined to comment on the case.

Update 3/26/07:  The destruction of 18 purebred cats in Masterton has "broken the heart" of Wairarapa SPCA head Val Ball since their seizure along with almost 40 others from a Woodville farm.

Mrs Ball, also a national cat show judge, earlier told the Times-Age the Wairarapa branch of SPCA had received almost 60 of the 161 cats taken from the Woodville farm of David Balfour in a raid that discovered the cats in cramped, poorly ventilated and diseased quarters.

"I had to watch as every breed ever given life was put down. I found it very hard having to hold and watch over these cats - some really sick and others too feral to touch - and it was the biggest heartbreak of my life."

Mrs Ball said four of the surviving cats are to be homed in Auckland and the rest are to be desexed before new owners are found.

She said the euthanized animals were selected under advice from Masterton veterinarian John McLaren because the cats were "too ill or there was no real opportunity for them to be tamed".

Cats seized from the Balfour property had also been sent to SPCA facilities in Levin and Palmerston North.

Jim Boyd, national operations team leader for SPCA New Zealand, said seven SPCA staff had been gathered for the raid and 85 dogs also at the farm had been left with Mr Balfour.

Diseases identified among the seized animals included rhinotracheitis, better known as snuffles, other respiratory diseases, and possibly feline chlamydia.

Mr Boyd earlier said it was "almost an absolute certainty" Balfour would face charges under the Animal Welfare Act, for failing to ensure the physical health and behavioral needs of the animals were met.

Update 7/19/07:  Dog show judge David Balfour and his wife today pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges in Dannevirke District Court.

They were remanded to appear at a status hearing in Palmerston North District Court on September 21.

They face charges relating to the alleged mistreatment of up to 81 dogs and 161 cats between August 23 last year and March 5.

The offences were alleged to have taken place at a former Woodville piggery where Balfour had run an animal breeding business.

Each faces four representative charges of ill-treating and failing to ensure the good health of the animals, about half of which were subsequently destroyed due to diverse health issues.  Each charge carries a possible fine of up to $25,000 and a prison term of up to six months.

Update 9/21/07:  Dog show judge David Balfour and his wife were today remanded for trial in Palmerston North District Court on animal cruelty charges.

Balfour and Daryl Kirsty Reid Balfour had a status hearing in the same court and were remanded to October 11.

Update 10/26/07:  Balfour and his wife are to face trial on significant animal cruelty charges.

A depositions hearing was held before Justices of the Peace Robert Justice and George Hall in Palmerston North District Court today.

The couple reiterated not guilty pleas.  A date for trial has yet to be set, but a heavy workload at Palmerston North means it is unlikely a hearing before a jury trial could be held before June.

The Balfour's' lawyer, Fergus Steedman, today successfully sought interim suppression of evidence, with the order also covering his argument.

Update 8/24/08:  A leading animal cruelty inspector is under investigation for allegedly mistreating animals following a complaint by a dog breeder who faces cruelty allegations of his own.

Jim Boyd, an inspector for the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), is being investigated over alleged breaches of the Animal Welfare Act.

The allegations, which are being investigated by private investigators hired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing (MAF), include shooting the muzzle off a horse and letting it run around a paddock for 20 minutes, and unnecessary euthanasia of animals, the Herald reported.

The complaints come from dog breeder David Balfour, who along with his wife Daryl are set to go to trial on animal cruelty charges.

Mr Boyd was the SPCA officer who charged Balfour, the Herald reported. He said the charges were "spurious" and designed to discredit him before the court case.

SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said an independent investigation into the allegations against Boyd was needed to avoid jeopardizing the case against Balfour.  She described Balfour's complaint as a "smear campaign".

Update 1/3/09:  A high-profile Northland SPCA inspector has been cleared of alleged animal cruelty.

Former police officer Jim Boyd, of Kerikeri, who last year was awarded the SPCA gold star for making an outstanding contribution to animal welfare, was alleged to have breached the Animal Welfare Act.

Mr Boyd had charged Balfour, who was allegedly found with more than 200 cats and dogs on his southern Hawke's Bay property last year.

National SPCA contracted an independent investigator to look into the allegations against Mr Boyd and the investigator's report was forwarded to lawyer Simon Meikle for a review.  Mr Meikle rejected the raft of allegations.

In response to the complaint relating to him euthanizing a horse in Okaihau, Mr Boyd said his .22 Magnum rifle had backfired as he approached to within one metre of the animal.  He had then attempted a side headshot, but it fell 50mm low and the horse ran about 150m before it was destroyed with another gunshot.   He said the muzzle of the horse was not shot off as claimed because a .22 Magnum rifle could not cause that level of damage.

Another complaint related to Mr Boyd's alleged failure to inspect a horse in April 2006 which caused its death.  But it had been discovered the horse was taken to another property and drenched.  In his assessment, Mr Meikle said that the horse had died as a consequence of being drenched and not after Mr Boyd had failed to locate the animal.  "I am of the view that the Royal New Zealand SPCA need take no further action in respect of the report," the lawyer recommended.

SPCA national president Peter Mason then informed the Ministry of Agriculture the society did not wish to pursue the matter.  The ministry is expected to formally notify Mr Boyd this month.

Mr Boyd said he felt vindicated, knowing from the outset that there was nothing in any of the "spurious" allegations.  He likened the situation to that of "Chinese whispers" where the complainants relied on information from others.

"As an investigator, I don't always make friends and you can't do the work I do without upsetting people, particularly those who ill-treat animals," Mr Boyd said.



Wairarapa Times-Age

Hawke's Bay Today


The Northern Advocate

Royal New Zealand SPCA