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The exotic animals impounded by the Metropolitan Police

12 July 2012 Last updated at 00:38 BST

MPs are considering changes to the law to tackle the illegal trade in endangered species.

There has been a huge rise in reports of exotic animals - alive and dead - being illicitly bought and sold in the UK.

Police believe London is now a major international hub for criminals involved in smuggling exotic animal products.

Some of the more unusual items seized by officers are kept by the specialist Wildlife Crime Unit at its compound in London.

BBC World Service was shown around the compound by Sergeant Ian Knox.

Video production by Daniel Gordon