Susan Tate fined for illegally having stuffed animals

Caernarfon law courts Image copyright Google

A woman has been fined for illegally having a stuffed Scottish wildcat, stuffed squirrel, a porpoise skull and a blue butterfly.

Susan Tate, 57, from Newborough, Anglesey, said she had had a lifelong interest in taxidermy and did not know the items were illegal.

Caernarfon magistrates' court heard police raided her home after it was put up for sale and photos of the animals appeared in the advert on Zoopla.

The ex biology teacher was fined £224.

The court heard the Scottish wildcat was given to Tate by her mother shortly before she died.

The red squirrel had been bought on eBay in the last 10 years, as had the butterfly.

Crimewatch Roadshow

But she no longer had the paperwork needed to prove how she had acquired the items.

The porpoise skull was found on a beach in Dorset about seven years ago, the court heard.

Tate's solicitor, Adrian Roberts, expressed concern the police raid on her home had been filmed by the BBC's Crimewatch Roadshow.

He claimed the case had only been brought to court because of the BBC's involvement, something which the prosecution said was not the case.

Speaking after the case, Tate said: "I didn't realise I needed papers for these things. I will carry on collecting, but I've learned a great deal in the last few months.

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