After the visit by the police to my premises, I took legal advice from Milton Silverman of Streathers in London and a local solicitor.
I was interviewed at Chesterfield Police Station by a local police officer and an officer from the Wildlife Crime Unit. It was accepted that the item was antique but that it was insufficiently worked under the amended 2013 CITES guidelines.
The matter was concluded by community resolution and I had to surrender the item to comply with this resolution.
The officers directly dealing with the situation were rational in their approach a very professional manner. I write this letter to urge ATG readers to pool knowledge and expertise to the benefit as a whole.
Endangered species legislation is not going away and I suspect that it is going to get much stricter.
Milton Silverman, Partner, Streathers, adds:If the Wildlife Crime Unit turns up at your door, cooperate and engage with its personnel.
You should then take legal advice. If the view is that there has been an infringement of EU regulations, accept this advice and discuss options with your solicitor, who will seek to negotiate the best possible outcome with the police, prior to the interview as far as possible.
A judgement call has to be made in all the particular circumstances of each case and the individual concerned.
In particular, if the dealer does business in the US, and wants to travel there, then this may possibly cause problems if that dealer has a caution on his or her record.
Your solicitor will assess and discuss with you whether or not to accept a caution if, for example, it is offered by the police in order to fold the case.
They may not offer a caution and could move on with a prosecution, but the reality is that there is every possibility that a caution will be on the table in these cases.