Wednesday, July 11, 2007

U.K. shopkeeper fined for tiger, leopard coats

Tuesday, 10th July 2007, 08:27

A shopkeeper who stocked fur coats made of endangered species including tiger, leopard and ocelot was ordered to pay £1,000 today.

Michael Moosah, 65, who runs Gale Furs Ltd, admitted keeping the illegal furs at his Regent's Park store.

Officers from the Met's Wildlife Crime Unit searched the shop in October last year and seized a number of coats. Experts at the Natural History Museum later identified them as one tiger skin, one leopard skin and five ocelot skin coats.

All three animals are classed as endangered, making trade in them illegal.

Moosah, of St John's Wood, pleaded guilty to three charges of keeping specimens of endangered species for sale. He was fined £1000 and ordered to pay £47 costs.

Andy Fisher, the Head of the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit, said that the case showed endangered species were being traded on the streets of London.

He said: "This case has shown once again that the illegal trade in endangered species is not just something that happens in Asia or Africa. Endangered species are on sale here on the streets of London and they will be for as long as we continue to buy them.

"The people of London can support the work we and our partners are doing to protect the world's endangered species, by being sure the product they buy is legal. This can be done by checking www.ukcites.gov.uk for the list of endangered species, or to learn more about the issue as whole visit www.operationcharm.org.

"If anyone does have information about the trade in endangered species please report it to the police."

The operation leading to the arrest and conviction was carried out under the banner of Operation Charm - the unit which works with wildlife organisations to ensure laws regarding endangered species are not broken.

Since the launch of Operation Charm in 1995, the unit has seized more than 30,000 items made from endangered species, all of which were on sale in London. These included traditional Chinese medicine products, fashion and clothing products, ivory and animal skins

http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowStory.asp?story=ID939510Z&news_headline= shopkeeper_fined_for_illegal_fur_coats

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