Cruelty conviction for friends with 92 birds inside Liverpool apartment 

A man and woman from Liverpool have been sentenced at Liverpool Local Court on 30 May 2022 for three offences against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTAA) in relation to 50 live birds kept in their apartment.

On 12 January 2022, after previous attempts to visit the defendants’ property, two RSPCA NSW Inspectors executed a search warrant. Upon entry, the female defendant confirmed that she was the main occupant of the dwelling and that her ex–partner stayed at the apartment part-time and owned some of the birds.

19 bird cages were found inside the apartment, which was filled with debris, in some places stacked to the ceiling.  The cages were extremely overcrowded, with 50 living birds forced to share enclosures with 42 deceased, decomposing birds.

The majority of the cages were surrounded by rubbish and were littered with a build-up of seed and waste material. None of the cages contained clean water, and most of them had no access to natural light.

In one of the cages, the accumulation of old seed and faeces was so extreme that the birds inside had no perch, or ability to stretch out their wings.

An RSPCA NSW Inspector seized the birds and cages with the assistance of RSPCA NSW staff. The animals were transported to RSPCA NSW Yagoona for veterinary assessment and treatment.

The examining veterinarians confirmed that the birds were suffering various chronic health conditions attributed to poor husbandry, inappropriate nutrition, and failure to provide appropriate housing.


The Court convicted the man and woman of offences relating to failure to provide veterinary treatment to 12 emaciated birds, 5 birds with various eye conditions, and failing to provide appropriate housing for the 50 living birds.

Magistrate Mabbutt fined each defendant $6000 and imposed a 2-year Community Corrections Order. In addition, the defendants received two-year disqualification orders.

The male defendant was ordered to pay $12,027.85 in veterinary care and shelter costs, and the female defendant was ordered to pay $6,728.43 in costs, expenses incurred by RSPCA NSW in caring for the birds the subject of these charges.

“It was an incredibly confronting experience witnessing the poor living conditions that these birds were subjected to. It is so sad to think about how long these animals were suffering, and how this dreadful situation was completely preventable,” said Inspector Tyson.

“If you suspect someone in your neighbourhood is not providing sufficient care for their pets, please contact RSPCA NSW. Our team are here to provide assistance and support to achieve the best possible outcome for vulnerable animals.”

GRAPHIC IMAGES WARNING. Images are available for download here.

All charges brought under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.


A total of 50 live birds and 42 deceased birds were seized from the location.

All surviving birds were medically assessed by veterinarians and 49 out of the 50 birds were euthanised as they all had the zoonotic disease psittacosis.

One Sulfur-crested cockatoo was medically cleared and has been adopted.

The bodies of the deceased birds were in multiple states of decay and the task of definitively stating how the birds suffered and died would not be possible.