A Dundalk pet dealer is openly offering Australian dingos for sale on the internet, despite the fact that they can be particularly dangerous to children.
Marcus Dreyer, of the Pet Ranch, also offered other exotic animals to this newspaper when we posed as a potential buyer of the Australian wild dogs last week.
These included meerkats, raccoons, prairie dogs, lemurs, raccoons, and agoutis, which are a relative of the guinea pig.
Dreyer said he had sold two pairs of the dingos already, and only had one pair left, which he said could be delivered in "seven days maximum".
According to an advertisement posted on the exotic animals section of the DoneDeal.ie website last week, the pair of male and female one-year- old "true" dingos could be bought for €1,250.
"They've lived in a group in a big compound in a private zoo. They are not household pets. I would class them as dangerous. Do you understand what I'm saying?" Dreyer told the Sunday Tribune. "They will let you go into the compound and feed them, they won't go for you, but you wouldn't let children near them or anything like that... They would need to be kept in a large compound."
Dreyer confirmed, in a follow-up phonecall, that he had also sold wallabies in the past.
But while he had heard about the recent controversy in which a wallaby was brought into a birthday disco at the Clarion Hotel in Liffey Valley in Dublin, he stressed he did not know "anything about it".
He said he would welcome legislation to control the ownership of potentially dangerous animals, but claimed dingos were "like an ordinary guard dog, in the same way you wouldn't put a Rottweiler with a child".
"I have licences and everything. I'm not just selling them. It is a legal business. The animals have pet passports, which have been granted by the EC. And there are EC rules to move them, because they are canis familiaris, which is a dog," he said.
"If I didn't like a place when I arrived, or I didn't like the way the person acted, then I would take the animal away again. It's not a question of money, it's a question of animals being correctly looked after."