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Teacher fined after putting pictures of illegal taxidermy online

Former schoolteacher, Susan Tate, was caught with several items of illegal taxidermy after the police were alerted to images of her property online containing her wild collection.

The collection of illegal stuffed animals was exposed online when she advertised her property on the Zoopla website. One individual saw her collection and later reported it to the police.

A police force with a BBC crew filming Crimewatch Roadshow arrived at Tate’s home in February, earlier this year. After searching the property in Anglesey, they seized a number of items including four which required a licence including a Scottish wildcat, a porpoise skull, a large blue butterfly and a European red squirrel.

The defence told the court that Tate had been “blissfully ignorant” of any wrongdoing.

Adrian Roberts, defending the case said that she had no idea that the items she owed were illegal to own. The court heard that the Scottish wildcat was inherited from her late mother. 

He added: “The porpoise skull she found on a beach in Dorset some years ago. She didn’t know it was illegal to own it. She had no idea when she received three packages of butterflies, one was illegal. The red squirrel she paid £40 for on eBay.”

Roberts also commented that she had been unnecessarily embarrassed on social media and in front of the BBC on the day that the police searched her property.

Despite Robert’s defence, Tate was fined £56 for each of the four illegal items and ordered to pay £650 in costs.

After the court hearing, Tate stated: “I think they could have dealt with it differently. I don’t even think they needed a search warrant. They could have knocked on the door and I would have let them in. I am from a police family.”


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