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Taxidermist jailed for trading in endangered species

|News

A 29-year-old man has been jailed for 56 weeks for trading in endangered species.

Aaron Halstead bought and advertised for sale items including a Sperm Whale tooth, a Sawfish Rostrum, a Black Rhinoceros Skull and two Black Rhinoceros Horns.

On 17 January 2018 officers from Lancashire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) executed a search warrant at addresses in Burnley associated with him. They seized a wide range of specimens and documentation.

Wendy Evans for the CPS said: "Though a large part of what Aaron Halstead bought and sold is legal, he also traded illegally in a number of specimens.

"He sourced the specimens from all over the world to sell on whilst being well aware of the strict regulations he was breaching as he has previously been convicted of similar offences.

"The message is clear; we take crime against protected animals incredibly seriously and will continue to work with the police and National Wildlife Crime Unit to build strong cases against anyone who is involved in this abhorrent trade and ensure they are brought to account for their actions."

Notes to editors

  • Wendy Evans is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West
  • Aaron Halstead pleaded guilty to nine charges:
    • one offence of acquiring tiger skulls for commercial purposes on 26 September 2017
    • two offences of selling black rhinoceros horns (2 separate transactions) on 3 and 7 November 2017
    • one offence of transporting 2 black rhinoceros horns for sale on 3 November 2017
    • three offences of offering for sale a sperm whale tooth, a sawfish rostrum and a black rhinoceros skull on 5 December 2017

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