Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Stuffed tiger seized from central London studio

The stuffed tiger seized by police
The tiger was used in an Alexander McQueen photoshoot

Officers have seized a stuffed adult tiger from a central London studio, which is believed to have been touted for an illegal sale.

A 47-year-old man was also arrested after the Metropolitan Police's Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) became aware of the planned sale of the animal.

He was taken to a south London police station but later released on bail.

The stuffed animal was once used by the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen in a photo shoot.

'Strictly enforced'

Stuffed tigers are allowed to be sold in the UK but it is believed this tiger was made available for sale through the studio without sufficient documentation to verify its origin.

Without that paperwork any potential transaction would contravene Article Eight of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).

Det Sgt Ian Knox, of the WCU, said: "In order to discourage the trade in rare animals and related items, it is crucial that regulations surrounding their sale are strictly enforced.

"Where an item is suspected of breaching the CITES regulations designed to protect our planet's most endangered flora and fauna, we will take the appropriate action to establish its origin and, when necessary, seize it as evidence.

"Anyone who wishes to trade in endangered species can find the information they need to do so lawfully on the Defra website."

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