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Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2006, 14:05 GMT
Ten crocodiles found in car boot
Ten baby crocodiles were found in a car boot
An animal welfare charity has recovered 10 crocodiles and a variety of poisonous reptiles from a car boot.

Backed by police, officers of the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals stopped the car just outside Newry on Thursday.

The USPCA said the animals were all destined for sale in Northern Ireland.

Afterwards, more dangerous reptiles were taken from a house near Omagh during the investigation into the illegal trading of wild animals.

The charity said a diminishing demand for big cats was being replaced by a craze for dangerous reptiles, which were "often bought on a whim" and frequently died through the owners' ignorance.

The crocodiles were found in a car boot

Stephen Philpott of the USPCA said legislation was urgently needed to stop illegal trading by unlicensed dealers.

He said the Dangerous Wild Animals Act was due to be brought into force in Northern Ireland two years ago.

"As of yet, we haven't got it and for as long as we don't have it, the trade in these exotic and dangerous animals will continue," he said.

"You are not allowed to do it anywhere else, why are you allowed to do it here?"

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