Courtesy Metropolitan Police Service
One of the illegal Annina Vogel pieces
Annina Vogel, who operates out of Liberty, the 140-year-old department store in London’s West End, pled guilty to and was fined for selling tiger claw jewelry.
Annina Vogel specializes in vintage jewelry and has an annex at Liberty department store. A customer of the store reported the brand to authorities in 2013, and a wildlife crime officer visited the store in 2014 and seized 11 pieces of jewelry, which were later confirmed to be from leopards, jaguars, lynxes, caracals, or servals, all big cats covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, of which England is a signatory (as is the United States). Because the brand was advertising the pieces as “tiger claws,” which have been illegal to sell in England since 2013, they were prosecuted as such. Vogel pled guilty and was ordered to pay a fine of £2,000, nearly $3,200.
“New guidelines were implemented in the U.K. in 2013, in order to protect the world’s dwindling tiger population,” said Detective Constable Sarah Bailey, of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Wildlife Crime Unit, in a statement. “I would like to take this opportunity to remind jewelers and antiques dealers to ensure they comply with the legislation in relation to tiger claw specimens. The sale of any tiger claws is unlawful if they have not been significantly altered from their natural state, even if antique.”