Friday, January 16, 2009

DEFRA may be ready to end dilemma of horns

It seems DEFRA may now be granting permission to sell rhino horns mounted pre-1947 regardless of the specific technique employed by the taxidermist.

Most antiques that include the "parts and derivatives" of endangered species enjoy an exemption from CITIES controls known as the "worked item" derogation. This states that an item shall be exempt from the 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. The problem has been the interpretation of the term "worked".

More problematic are objects such as a rhino horn mounted on an oak shield. A pair of rhino horns in their natural state simply attached to a shield by the taxidermist has been deemed unworked and illegal to sell regardless of date.


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