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Taxidermy Law

The laws concerning the purchase or possession of natural history specimens can be a little confusing.

Should you come across a dead wild creature and wish to have it preserved, you must consider how the subject met its death. Once you are satisfied that the cause of death was legal, make a note of all circumstances surrounding the death then contact your taxidermist.

If you are unable to ascertain the cause, the information you have can help your taxidermist decide if your specimen can be mounted. The taxidermist must have this information to hand if it is requested by an authorised person.

Taxidermists hold stocks of both frozen and ready mounted specimens and must be able to provide full information for each item. It would be unwise to purchase modern taxidermy that has no label or marker referring to the taxidermist and his record number. If you purchase an unmarked specimen, you will have no way of proving that it was acquired legally.

Certain British species are protected because of their rarity and these must have a permit to be sold. Endangered species are covered by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) and also need permits.

The status of any specimen or legislation can change in the future. It is wise to keep a record of any in your possession.