Shop owner admits endangered animal offences

 This is Lancashire

A SHOPKEEPER has admitted 14 charges of possessing and selling stuffed endangered animals.

Darrell Kevin Cosgrove, 41, pleaded guilty to the specimen offences after police seized 20 stuffed animals from his Accrington antiques store.

He was originally charged along with Paul Barrett, 58, but the allegations against Mr Barrett, of Ribble Drive, Bury have now been withdrawn.

At Hyndburn Magistrates Court Cosgrove was charged on his own, as the owner of the Sellitall shop in Blackburn Road, where the items were displayed.

Officers recovered a large range of birds and animals after a raid at the shop in March.

At the time Cosgrove was the owner of the shop and Barrett was the manager.

Among the haul seized by police were three tawny owls, a European eagle owl, a sparrowhawk, two buzzards, two peregrine falcons, a Eurasian owl, a red squirrel, a Scottish wildcat, a mounted otter’s head and a mounted badger’s head.

The charges have been brought under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species regulations and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The Control of Trade In Endangered Species Regulations govern wildlife trade in the UK. The items were sent to the Guild of Taxidermy for analysis.

Cosgrove, of Timberhurst, Bury, will appear at Hyndburn Magistrates Court next week for sentence.

At the time of the raids Lancashire Police wildlife officer, PC Nick Mattock, said: “A number of protected birds of prey and other items were recovered from the shop. The operation was a result of information from the public which suggested endangered species were in the shop.

“While these specimens may not have been killed for taxidermy, people do kill for that purpose because there is a market for it and people feed that market, which is why we carry out such operations.”

At the time of the raid former owner Kevin Cosgrove said 16 police officers raided the store.

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Filed under biodiversity, birds, crime, nature, wildlife

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