Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hertfordshire taxidermist charged with exotic animal offences

A taxidermist from Hertfordshire has denied illegally keeping a collection of dead endangered species and lying to government regulation agencies.

Simon Wilson, from Rickmansworth, is accused of profiting from a tiger skin and using false certificates.

The 49-year-old pleaded not guilty at Southwark Crown Court to six charges dating back over five years.

He is accused of keeping illegally a Himalayan black bear, an orangutan and a mandrill skeleton.

Mr Wilson also denied lying to the government agency Animal Health and illegally possessing a leopard skin, a peregrine falcon, a red kite and a mandrill skull.

The taxidermist will face trial on 14 January next year for allegedly using a tiger skin for commercial gain, keeping a stuffed tiger for sale and making a false statement relating to the stuffed tiger.

He also denies using a statement relating to another specimen, making a fraudulent representation to the government agency Animal Health by using a false certificate, and concealing criminal property.

The trial is expected to last between five and seven days.

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