A concession at luxury department store Liberty has been fined for selling jewellery made from big cat claws.
Annina Vogel was today ordered to pay £2,000 in fines, after having plead guilty to selling the illegal items. The company was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim’s surcharge of £120.
Police siezed 11 pieces of jewellery containing 14 big cat claws at the Regent Street store after having been notified of the items by Westminster Trading Standards.
They were found to have come from leopards, jaguars, lynxes, caracals or servals, which are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
They were being sold as ‘tiger claws’, meaning the regulations on the sale of tiger claws applied. It has been illegal to sell tiger claws since 2013.
Detective constable Sarah Bailey, of the Metropolitan Police Service’s wildlife crime unit, said: “New guidelines were implemented in the UK in 2013, in order to protect the world’s dwindling tiger population. I would like to take this opportunity to remind jewellers and antique dealers to ensure they comply with the legislation in relation to tiger claw specimens.
“The sale of any tiger claws is unlawful if they have not been significantly altered from their natural state, even if antique.
"This kind of trade continues to threaten many endangered species with extinction. Enforcement operations like this one, which see the police working with our partners in trading standards and Defra, are crucial to combating this activity and raising awareness of the scale of the problem.”