Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Sunday, 21 February 2010

Man bailed as lemurs seized in Banbridge and Ballymena

Ring-tailed lemur
Lemurs are protected under the UN Convention

A man has been released on bail after being arrested in connection with the illegal trading of primates.

Four lemurs were seized on Friday from a shopping centre carpark in Banbridge, and another from a shop in Ballymena.

They are protected under the UN Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species.

The five seized animals are a mix of ring tailed and white fronted brown lemurs. Lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar.

The USPCA said rare animals are being sold illegally to purchasers "whose knowledge about their specific requirements is at best nominal, at worst non-existent".

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