Man jailed for trading in endangered species
A man who traded in the online sale of endangered species has been jailed for 24 weeks after police found whale teeth, a cheetah skull and a dolphin skull at his Lancashire home.
Aaron Halstead, 24, of Glen View Road, Burnley, pleaded guilty to three offences of purchasing an endangered species and one offence of offering a snowy owl for sale without a valid permit and was sentenced at Burnley Crown Court.
In October 2014 Wildlife Crime Officers from Lancashire Police, along with officers from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, executed a search warrant at Halstead's home address and recovered the items.
The species are included in Annex 'A' of the regulations which means that the trade of these items is strictly controlled.
Following an investigation, it was found that the items had been purchased in contravention of the Control in Trade of Endangered Species regulations.
Halstead pleaded not guilty to the purchase of four leopard skins, which the prosecution accepted, however the judge requested the skins be seized by Lancashire Police and the charges lie on file.
Wildlife Officer Pc Nigel Keates said: "This was certainly an unusual case and very different from the type of wildlife crime we're used to dealing with here in Lancashire.
"Our investigation revealed that Halstead was involved in the illegal trade of endangered species, most of which he did online.
"He has shown a flagrant disregard for the regulations in place surrounding the buying and selling of endangered species and today he has been sentenced accordingly for flouting these rules."