25/03/2010

Stuffed Tiger Seized

Police have seized a stuffed adult tiger from a central London studio which is believed to have been touted for an illegal sale.

A 47-year-old man was also arrested after officers became aware of the planned sale of the animal, which was once used by the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen in a photoshoot.

The man was taken to a south London police station for interview while officers searched the suspect's home address.

Although it is possible for stuffed tigers to be sold in the UK, it is believed this example was made available for sale through the studio without sufficient documentation to verify its origin.

Without that paperwork any potential transaction would contravene Article Eight of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).

Following his interview the arrested man was bailed to 1 June 2010 while enquiries into the provenance of the tiger continue.

Detective Sergeant Ian Knox of the WCU, said: "In order to discourage the trade in rare animals and related items, it is crucial that regulations surrounding their sale are strictly enforced.

"Where an item is suspected of breaching the CITES regulations designed to protect our planet's most endangered flora and fauna, we will take the appropriate action to establish its origin and, when necessary, seize it as evidence."

(PR/NS)

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