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Contact & FAQ

Firstly, please read the following FAQs:

I have a question about purchasing an item...

Are all the items located in Boston Spa, Yorkshire?
No, the items are at different locations - look at the seller's details for this information.

Can I collect and pay in cash if I am happy with the item?
Yes, but you need to add the item to your cart and check out as usual, choosing 'pay by bank transfer/cheque'. You will then be able to agree a time to view with the seller.  Payment must be made prior to taking any goods.  If you're not paying a deposit (see below) you will need to collect and pay in full within 5 days.

I really like an item, but can't afford it just now.
You can hold an item with a deposit - please contact us to discuss. You can ring Mike on +44 (0)1937 844580 if you have any other questions.

I have a dead item that I need modelling...

How much does it cost to have my item modelled?
Please see my very comprehensive price list. There may be an extra charge if you are interested in an item from stock.

How do I send an item to you?
Please look at the information below the price list which is relevant to the appropriate species, e.g. Birds, Mammals, Fish, Game Heads.

How do I keep a dead item?
You can keep an item (bird, fish or mammal) in a freezer. This will be fine and will keep for several years wrapped in polythene. If it is small or fragile, put it in a box to protect it. If an item is too large, it will need to be skinned and this needs to be done by a taxidermist as soon as possible (on the same day in hot weather, and within two days in winter). The skin can then be frozen.

I have a dead bird that I want to sell...

Most of the items that taxidermists obtain are given free; however, some of the rarer birds do have a value, and we often purchase them. These would usually be from falconers who are trying to gain some funds for their replacement bird. If you are offering a bird of prey for sale, you will need to get an Article 10 Licence, which, at the time of writing, costs £25 each (in the case of common birds, this may be more than the value of the bird). I am happy to reimburse postage if you wish to send any item. If you have a rare or unusual item, please get in touch with Mike Gadd on 01937 844580.  I pay a going rate for good birds like Eagle Owls, Eagles, Vultures etc.

Pet taxidermy...

Unfortunately, I do not now do pet Taxidermy  but the following will help If you have a pet and would like it to be modeled:

DO NOT RUSH You can keep your pet in a freezer for many years.

To make sure you are happy with the idea of having your pet modeled, please keep it in the freezer for at least a month as you may well think differently after that time.

Taxidermy will not bring your lost animal back to life. It will at best be a representation of your pet.

You should consider the alternatives such as simply burying your animal, keeping a photograph or commissioning a portrait.

Taxidermy is an art If you decide to go ahead with modeling your animal, choose a taxidermist by the quality of their work, not their price or location. If they are too expensive or you do not like their location, DO NOT HAVE THE ITEM DONE. You should expect to pay approximately twice the cost of a wild species.


There are about 3,000 taxidermists in the UK of which there are 14 Bird Specialists, 6 Mammal Specialists, and 4 Fish Specialists. A taxidermist with this qualification has the MINIMUM standard you should accept. They must be able to show you work of a good standard. Make sure the person you speak to is going to do the work and if not, make sure you are happy with the person they are sending it to some dealers just send the item to the cheapest trade person they can find.

 relates to Pets.

Exporting/Importing Taxidermy to the USA

Can I purchase your taxidermy if I live in the USA? the short answer is some items yes but quite a few birds are listed on the
"THE MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT " for the USA Have a look at this page remember you my need to check the sientific name http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/RegulationsPolicies/mbta/mbtandx.html     if an item is on this list you will not be able to import it.    


Selling your taxidermy item...

Where can I sell my taxidermy item?
I provide a service for you to sell better quality work on my website.  However, I am only interested in better quality or named cased items. Please provide as much information as you can about each item. I would also need photographs showing the whole item from all angles, including close-ups.

If you wish to sell your item yourself, you can try local auctions or eBay, but please remember that many items require appropriate licences. EBay is monitored by the authorities and any items offered for sale without the appropriate licences will be deleted from their site and you may be liable to prosecution.

Do I need a licence to sell taxidermy?
It depends on the item. You should get in contact with Animal Health who are the governing body for taxidermy in the UK. Alternatively, you could contact www.taxidermylaw.co.uk, a dedicated taxidermy law expert who will speak plain English and try to help, but you will need to pay for this advice.  I do so myself, and I can recommend the service. I am unable to give quick, free advice on this myself, due to the complexity and possible legal implications.

How much is my item worth?
Taxidermy items are like any other form of art - it is down to who did it, and how well it is done. An average item can be worth anything from 50 pence to a few thousand pounds. I am unable to give free valuations, as I am self-employed and cannot devote excessive time to such enquiries.

You can browse this site and others to get an idea, but remember that a good owl in a case can be worth around £500, while a poor quality owl may only be worth £40.

If you have a good item or have a few items you wish to sell, please send photos to:

Mike Gadd
Hollydean Cottage
Padmans Lane
Boston Spa
West Yorkshire
LS23 6BR
England UK

email: mike at taxidermy.co.uk

Who is my local taxidermist?

I get quite a few enquiries asking for a 'local' taxidermist. I do not have a database of taxidermists, although I know a few. Taxidermists are artists - there are good artists and there are bad artists, and, in the UK, they can obtain qualifications for this art. There are more than 2,000 taxidermists in the UK, of which only 49 (as of 2006) have some form of qualification - 16 of these are bird specialist taxidermists and six are mammal specialist taxidermists. I am a specialist in birds, mammals and game heads and have advanced qualifications in birds and mammals. As with purchasing an oil painting, you would go to an artist whose work you liked and could afford. Certain items can also be sent around the country and abroad.

If you are just looking for a taxidermist near you, and you do not wish to use my services, try your local Yellow Pages. When choosing a taxidermist, remember they should be a member of the Guild of Taxidermists, which is the only recognised body representing taxidermists in the UK. Please have a look at my section on Choosing a taxidermist for useful information.

How do I cure/soften a skin?

This is not a case of 'dip in magic ingredient A'! It is a complex area and not for the faint-hearted. Do a web search for tanning/tanning kits, which may lead you in the right direction. In the meantime, keep the skin in a freezer. If the item is already tanned, it may not be possible to do much with it.  You may be able to re-oil and stake it, but, again, this is a complex procedure and is really only for a skilled person.

How do I become a taxidermist?

A good starting point is one of the taxidermy courses that I offer: http://www.taxidermy.co.uk/training/training.htm. I would then suggest becoming a member of the Guild of Taxidermists, where you will meet fellow taxidermists and be able to attend lectures on taxidermy. Having attended one of my courses, the more complex demonstrations will make a lot more sense, as some advanced areas of taxidermy provided by the Guild will be over a beginner's head. 

Recommended reading
I have just published my first book on taxidermy "Beginner Taxidermy: Small Mammals" this book is based on my 3 day beginner taxidermy cause and unlike a lot of books focuses on getting you started as a beginner in taxidermy.

I need some glass eyes/taxidermy supply materials...

I use www.watdon.co.uk / JHT Supplies / and Snowdonia Taxidermy Supplies. There are also many American supply companies if you are serious about order size or complexity. If you do a search for 'taxidermy supplies UK' you should get a list of UK suppliers.

Repair/clean/insect attack on a taxidermy item...

If the item is not very valuable, this can be done by your local taxidermist (have a look in your local Yellow Pages). If it is of good value, then choose a good taxidermist who is a member of the Guild of Taxidermists, and who has at least some Credits or is a 'Qualified Specialist' in the relevant area, e.g. birds, mammals, fish etc.

Insect Attack
Freezing the item at a temperature below -22C is a safe way to kill insects.  If you have a large item, you may need the services of a taxidermist.

This can be done by gently knocking off dust or using a blower.  A damp cloth can be used to clean more stubborn stains. If this fails, or you feel the item needs attention beyond this stage, you will need to take it to a taxidermist.

Media information on interviews/talks...

I get a considerable number of journalists wishing to talk to me or to my customers about pet taxidermy. I actually receive more enquiries from journalists regarding pets than I do from pet owners! Taxidermists in the UK usually work on British wild animals, and the commonest cause of death of these is the general public, e.g. road traffic accidents, flying into windows, power lines, pollution etc.  
Please contact me only if you appreciate the fact that pet taxidermy forms a minuscule part of the trade.
You will also find more information on the art of taxidermy from the Guild of Taxidermists.

Question still not answered?

Please phone Mike Gadd on 01937 844580
(Overseas +44 1937 844580)
or email Mike [at] taxidermy.co.uk

or use the contact form