BORN TO BE WILD: Who is profiting from the unregulated exotic animal trade?
6 Backers raised €115 of €2400

In Ireland, you need a licence to own a dog or television but not an exotic animal such as a tiger, sloth or python.

This lack of regulation has allowed the exotic animal trade to flourish unabated with serious impacts on the health of animals sold, and concerns over zoonotic diseases and invasive species. Our research has turned up cases of lemurs chained up in sheds and monkeys sold openly on Facebook, while poisonous snakes have escaped from homes.

This investigation will reveal the scale of the illegal and unregulated exotic animal trade, who is profiting from it and what authorities are doing to crack down on the problem.


We will carry out in-depth social media analysis and speak to animal welfare sources to identify individuals engaged in illegal and unregulated trading.

In order to find out what authorities are doing about the problem, we will send Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the responsible authorities for data and documents on enforcement action to date.

The issue has escalated to the extent that a national sanctuary was set up to provide the growing number of unwanted and neglected exotic animals with permanent accommodation and care.

Our reporters will interview zoologists, legal experts and animal welfare professionals about changes to the law needed to protect the animals and control this trade.

Want to see this investigation happen? Click the 'Fund This Proposal' button.

You can contact us at and find out how we work here. Our investigations are sourced from and crowdfunded by the public.

6 Backers raised €115 of €2400
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