Over a hundred lethally poisonous spiders have been found in an abandoned house in County Carlow. Before vacating the house, its former resident had purchased the spiders off the Internet to keep as pets.
A Carlow local discovered the infestation and immediately called the National Exotic Animal Sanctuary (NEAS) in Ballivor, Co. Meath.
“We had to go in with an expert, catalog all the species and have the potentially lethal ones like the black widow and funnel-web spiders destroyed,” NEAS manager Kevin Cunningham told the Mirror. Other species found in the house include scorpions and tarantulas.
“There were also dozens of dead spiders found around the room, worryingly from postage boxes found on the premises,” Cunningham said.
“The spiders were posted from abroad – imagine if they got out of the packaging while in transit?”
Just last month, a Cork father of five died after being bitten by a poisonous Redback spider.
The procurement of exotic, deadly animals from the Internet is a growing problem in Ireland. According to Cunningham, people throughout the country are housing tigers, raccoons, bears and poisonous snakes as pets.
The NEAS is looking into creating new laws to stop the influx of dangerous pets that people may not be equipped to care for or deal with in case of an emergency.
The Ballivor sanctuary currently holds abandoned raccoons, emus, llamas, a snapper turtle, parrots and other animals in a secure enclosure.
“In Britain and Northern Ireland, they have the Wild Animal Act which requires the owners to have a license if their animal is capable of inflicting any harm to a person or other animal.
“Technically you can keep a tiger in Ireland and you’re not breaking any laws,” Cunningham said.
“The government needs to look at this problem now, as more exotic animals become available on the net.”