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1) The trade in endangered species is governed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, better known as CITES.


2) 'Worked' antiques, however, enjoy an exemption from the controls. This is known as the antiques derogation. This states that an item shall be exempt from normal sales controls if it was acquired prior to June 1947 and has been "significantly altered from its natural raw state for jewellery, adornment, art, utility or musical instrument" before that date. Most taxidermy qualifies under the derogation too.


3) In May 2013, the European Commission issued new guidance regarding the interpretation of the term 'worked'. The changes, intended only for internal use by CITES management authorities, were introduced without proper communication.


4) No trade bodies, including the RICS, BADA, LAPADA and the UK Guild of Taxidermy, were informed of the new guidelines, with the result that some auctioneers and dealers unknowingly contravened the new rules.


5) Many more items now require licences (a so-called Article 10 certificate) from the Wildlife Licensing & Registration Service before they can be sold, while the UK's 'stricter measures' governing the sale of 'unworked' elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn and tiger parts mean that some of these items have effectively been banned.