Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many tigers, lions and pumas are being kept at 23 Moat road, Ballyhalbert; whether he is satisfied that there is no public health problem; and if he will make a statement on the controls and licences required for keeping non-domestic animals in Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Needham
I am informed by Ards borough council that four tigers and one puma are being kept at 23 Moat 35W road, Ballyhalbert. There are also five panthers but no lions being kept on the premises. In the council's view there is no public health problem. In Northern Ireland the keeping of non-domestic animals is controlled under public health and animal welfare legislation. District councils have powers to take action if an animal is so kept as to be a nuisance or prejudicial to public health. The Department of Agriculture can intervene if an animal is being cruelly treated. Native species of wild animals protected under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 cannot be kept without a licence from the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland.