Animal law in Northern Ireland sends MP wild
State Papers - revealed
The number of wild and dangerous animals being kept in Northern Ireland became an issue of discussion among the UK's top officials following a series of parliamentary questions from former Strangford UUP MP John Taylor (right) in the 1980s.
Mr Taylor had pressed for NI's laws on dangerous wild animals to be brought into line with the rest of the UK. The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 applied only to mainland Britain.
He was responding to a number of complaints from constituents about a household in Ballyhalbert which included tigers, a puma and panthers.
There were, at that stage, no requirements to have to obtain a license to keep a wild animal in Northern Ireland.
A version of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act was extended to Northern Ireland in 2004.