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Scots wizard shop owner caught with owl heads in jam jars

Gordon Taylor, of Inverness, kept parts of legally protected birds in a bid to sell them.

Gordon Taylor, owner of Wild Wizard Crafts, who sold parts of protected birds.
Peter Jolly

A man who ran a wizardry supply shop kept parts of legally protected birds in jars in a bid to sell them.

Gordon Taylor, from Inverness, ran an online business called Wild Wizard Crafts which was targeted at those interested in paganism and shamanism.

Police raided the 46-year-old's home in November 2015 after officers uncovered the shop and obtained a search warrant.

The officers seized 11 items from a workshop in a cupboard, including a buzzard's wing, a pendant made from a tawny owl's foot and two barn owl heads in jam jars.

Raid: Barn owl heads found.
Raid: Barn owl heads found. Jon Nelson / cropped for web

At Inverness Sheriff Court on on Monday, Taylor was fined £750.

He had admitted a charge under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997 of illegally keeping bird products from protected species for sale.

The Crown Office said the potential value of the items would have been around £695.

'The existence of such a market drives persecution of these protected species.'
Laura Buchan, assistant procurator fiscal

Laura Buchan, assistant procurator fiscal, said: "I welcome today's sentence and the message it sends to anyone involved in this illegal market.

"The existence of such a market drives persecution of these protected species.

"In addition the prosecution highlights to other commercial sellers that they need to understand the legislation and take seriously their obligations in respect of the international convention on the trade in endangered species of fauna and flora.

"We would encourage anyone who may have information on this type of offending to contact the police."

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