Community service for Glenrothes man trading in endangered animal parts

A GLENROTHES man who admitted trading in endangered animal parts has been ordered to complete 160 hours community service.

Steven Paterson (48), had previously pleaded guilty to being involved in offering rare animal parts for sale including a sperm whale tooth, a pilot whale skull and harbour porpoise skulls.

He had admitted four charges contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species enforcement regulations and the Wildlife and Countryside Acts between January 2009 and August 2010.

Paterson was caught when the UK Border Agency found his website, which sold animal parts he had bought on the internet and had shipped from abroad.

At Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Thursday, Sheriff Alistair Thornton told Paterson he had considered a custodial sentence, however ordered Paterson to complete a 160 hour Community Service Order.

Paterson is the first person in Scotland to be convicted for trading in the body parts of endangered animals.

The specimens in this case were from species identified as the most endangered under both European and domestic legislation.

The enquiry saw the National Wildlife Crime Unit and other agencies including the National Museum of Scotland and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) working under the direction of specialist prosecutors from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.