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Man in court over selling rare animals
6:00am Tuesday 17th December 2013 in Echo News
A YOUNG entrepreneur has been charged with several counts of offering and selling stuffed endangered animals.
James Cranfield, 26, appeared before Southend Magistrates’ Court to answer 11 charges of selling and offering for sale stuffed owls, turtle skulls, a tiger head, stuffed leopards, an elephant foetus and sawfish rostrums, or saws.
The alleged offences are in contravention of European regulations which prohibit the sale of endangered species for commercial gain.
Items were discovered when police raided his parents’ home in Westborough Road, Westcliff, in May, and seized several items under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations.
Cranfield, a zoology graduate, came before District Judge John Woollard accused of offering for sale, between January 1 and June 5, two tawny owls and for using for commercial gain three turtle skulls, a tiger head, a large mount of a leopard, a small mount of a leopard, an elephant foetus and five sawfish rostrums.
He was also accused of purchasing, offering to purchase, selling or keeping for sale a sawfish rostrum during the same period and of illegally selling a tawny owl on May 1.
The court heard police began their investigation after a user of the social media site Instragram noticed photos of stuffed animals and contacted police.
Cranfield has 15,500 followers on the picture-sharing website.
Cranfield made no plea.
He will appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court for a summary hearing in the week commencing March 10.