In January 2015 Wildlife Crime Officers from Lancashire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit executed a search warrant in the Preston area. The warrant was issued under the provisions of the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997 and related to the sale furs coats made from the pelts of endangered species, which are listed on Annex ‘A’ to the regulations. The species involved included
Grey Wolf and Ocelot, which receive the highest level of protection. Permits are required to trade legally in species listed on Annex ‘A’. The investigation in Lancashire resulted in the seizure of several coats made from derivatives of endangered species. A woman was subsequently cautioned for offences relating to the prohibited commercial use of Annex ‘A’ species.
During the search the officers also uncovered evidence linking the furs to a supplier in Germany. That evidence was forwarded to the German authorities. As a direct result of the tip off, German officials started a full investigation and have raided a house and seized a quantity of illegally held furs along with fake permits and scanned copies of official permit stamps. The German investigation is still ongoing.