NOTE: Under the new amendments to the COTES (Control of Trade in Endangered Species) Regulations it is now a legal requirement to list the Article 10 licence number when advertising the relevant specimen in your catalogues.  


The trade in taxidermy specimens in the UK is governed by two main regulations. Each regulation, depending on what species you are trading in, has its own set of criteria.

Species covered under The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) are traded either under a General Licence WML GL17 (Birds) or in the case of other protected species such as Reptiles/Insects etc under either a CLASS licence for pre 1981 specimens or an individual Schedule 5 licence. To advertise a bird species under the WCA therefore is no problem, as the General licence covers you for advertising for sale, keeping for sale and making commercial gain etc.

The important thing to remember is that some species (birds of prey/Owls etc) are also listed on EC Regs 338/97 (updated 1320/2014) - and therefore an Article 10 permit may be required PRIOR TO ADVERTISING for sale.

For other species/Reptile etc - those species listed under (Sales) Schedule 5 of the WCA, will require a licence should you "expose for sale". Changes to regulations have removed the majority of Mammals previously listed on WCA (Scedule 5) to the Habitats Regulation (for sales purposes). Two commonly traded species do remain however (Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) and Pine Marten (Martes martes) - but in England these are covered by a new General Licence WML GL20, so no other licence is required. It must be noted that Scotland  has not followed suit – so individual licenses are still required for those species north of the border. With the other Schedule 5 species (Inc. insects etc) it is therefore necessary that you have your licence in place before advertising for sale. If the species is also listed on EC Regs 338/97 (updated 1320/2014) then an Individual Article 10 licence may also be required PRIOR TO ADVERTISING FOR SALE.(see below). For a list of species covered by these Acts, visit the appropriate websites (EC Regs - WCA Sch 5 (Natural England - )

Certain species such as those listed Annex 1V of the Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulation ( inc. Bats; Dormouse; Otter & Scottish Wildcat) may have further limitations/requirements. See also Natural England website..

Under EC Regs 338/97 (updated 1320/2014) the advertising for sale of any species so listed in Annex "A" is an offence unless you have the appropriate Article 10 licence prior to advertising. The exception to this rule is if the specimen was originally acquired and worked prior to 03/03/1947 - and you can "prove" that is the case (or at least answer any questions asked)

Species such as "vermin"; Game; & Fish (with one or two exceptions) require no licence prior to advertising.




For species listed CITES/EC Regs 338/97 – you need to contact:-

Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA)  Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service . Horizon House, Deanery Road, Bristol BS1 5AH

Tel: +44 (0) 117 372 3700,


Website: LINK


For species covered by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation Habitats Regulations – you need to contact:-

Customer Services Wildlife Licensing Natural England, Horizon House, Deanery Road, Bristol. BS1 5AH

Tel: 020802 61089

Disclamer: This company or individual cannot accept any responsibility for information given that is either misinterpreted by the author or the recipient and which is based either on experience gained or a matter of law where the precedence is yet to be decided by a court of law. Any information or guidence given is purely an opinion, therefore it is recommended that accredited legal advise is sought where appropriate.

© 2016 Taxidermy Law