Big Cat Survival boss Terrence Moore has been found guilty of animal cruelty offences after a lengthy trial.

Moore was convicted of four charges of causing unnecessary suffering of an animal and seven of using an animal species for commercial gain without a licence at St Albans Crown Court today (May 20).

He was cleared of eight charges of causing unnecessary suffering of an animal and four of using an animal species for commercial gain without a licence.

The 77-year-old is set to be sentenced on May 30, with recorder David Mayall saying he would ban him from keeping animals for five years once alternative arrangements have been made to home the 31 animals at the Codicote site.

He will also be ordered to pay fines totalling £10,000.

Mr Moore shook his head in the dock as the judge said: "The time has come when you should cease caring for these animals. Their welfare should be passed on to other persons.

"It will end your decades long involvement with these animals. You had had considerable achievements in your life’s work but the time has come when that has to stop."

The court had previously heard that Moore had a "dogmatic dislike of modern veterinary medicine", with Prosecutor Charles Miskin describing the Cat Survival Trust site as a "shambles".

"It was messy and dirty, food preparation, storage and disposal was not hygienic, the housing of some animals was inadequate or insecure, and a large number of unvaccinated domestic cats were wandering around exposing the trust cats to risk of disease, especially as they themselves weren’t vaccinated," he said.

"Many dead animals were also being kept in freezers on site rather than being properly cremated."

Mr Mayall cited this, telling Moore: "I am satisfied you did not set out to cause any unnecessary suffering to the animals in your care.

"But you have become blinkered in use of veterinary care. You are a firm adherent to treatment of animals by homeopathic methods.

"You believe it is a better solution than modern veterinary science. I have no doubt on occasions it has led you into taking the course that was not the most appropriate at the time for animals in your care."

Moore's barrister Daniel Higgins told the judge: "This is not a case of cruelty to donkeys or dog fights where the suffering is done for commercial gain.

"The Cat Survival Trust is a sanctuary where Mr Moore and others have taken in a large number of unwanted animals to give them the best life possible. The jury found in four cases veterinary care should have been sought. No harm was intended."