Taxidermist facing jail again for trading endangered species

Taxidermist facing jail again for trading endangered species

Taxidermist who was jailed after photos of him stood next to animal trophy collection sparked probe is facing being put behind bars AGAIN for illegally trading black rhino horns

  • Aaron Halstead was jailed in 2015  for 24 weeks for trading with animals illegally
  • He had illegally bought three sperm whale teeth, a cheetah’s skull and a dolphin
  • He has plead guilty to nine offences involving the trade of endangered species

A taxidermist who was put behind bars after pictures of him posing next to his wild animal collection sparked a police investigation is facing jail for a second time.

Aaron Halstead, from Burnley, Lancashire was jailed for 24 weeks in 2015 after a probe discovered he had illegally bought three sperm whale teeth, a cheetah’s skull and a dolphin.

Police had become suspicious of then 24-year-old after he pictured himself roaring like a lion alongside stuffed wild animals including tigers and giraffes on his website.

Now he is facing jail again after a further investigation found he illegally traded in tiger skulls, tiger teeth and black rhino horns between September 2014 and January 2018.

Aaron Halstead, from Burnley, Lancashire, is facing jail for a second time illegally trading in tiger skulls, tiger teeth and black rhino horns between September 2014 and January 2018

The 29-year-old has already been jailed previously for illegally buying three sperm whale teeth, the skulls of a cheetah and a dolphin in 2015 

Halstead operates from a website he runs from a room in his parents’ house and a social media account he calls Halstead Taxidermy

‘This is how you fit a 2.3m grizzly bear in a car!’ Halstead wrote on his taxidermy Facebook page

He pleaded guilty earlier this year to nine offences against the Control of Trade in Endangered Species, the maximum sentence for which is five years in jail. 

The swimming instructor was also accused of offences relating to tusks and ivory from an African bush elephant, keeping two tiger cubs and selling African tree pangolin. 

Halstead’s new charges came after Lancashire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit worked together on a big investigation into the illegal trade of critically endangered species. 

They claimed Halstead was involved in the sale of sperm whale’s teeth and sawfish rostrums.

in 2015 police found that that he sold these animals from a website that he ran from a room in his parents’ house. 

On social media he called himself ‘Halstead Taxidermy’ where he posted scores of images showing of stuffed tigers, bears, an orangutan and elephants feet. 

 He has posted numerous photographs of himself and stuff animals that helped to prosecute him in 2015

Halstead claims to be an animal lover and advertises that he specialises in big cats and big game

Halstead pictured joking around with a sea turtle’s hell on his back

He has posted pictures of himself roaring alongside the head of a tiger, riding a giraffe, wearing a leopard skin coat with beaver skin trim – and even driving a car with a stuffed zebra in the back. 

During a 2013 raid on his home officers found three sperm whale teeth, a cheetah’s skull and a dolphin skull plus a stuffed snowy owl.          

These antique elephant feet are among the things featured on the swimming coach’s website

 Lancashire Police said Halstead’s wares had become popular with some customers as some animals he traded in featured in popular media

Previous court hearings told he was a one man band trader in endangered and antique stuffed/preserved animals and skins

Previous court hearings told he was a one man band trader in endangered and antique stuffed/preserved animals and skins. 

The 29-year-old is due to be sentenced at Preston Crown Court today. 

Lancashire Police said Halstead’s wares had become popular with some customers as some animals he traded in featured in Game of Thrones, the Harry Potter movies and the Compare the Meerkat adverts.     

Hampstead pictured with a large buffalo head fixed to a wall mount

The taxidermist has a tiger skin that has been converted into a rug

Pictured: Some of the taxidermy that was seized by police in 2015

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