FAQ – Commonly Asked Taxidermy Questions

Please have a look through the Frequently asked Taxidermy Questions below, I you do not find the answer please contact Mike Gadd Taxidermist.

Please see my very comprehensive Price List. There may be an extra charge if you are interested in an item from frozen Taxidermy stock.

Please look at the information below the Price List page which is relevant to the appropriate species ie Birds, Mammals, Fish, Game Heads


I am unable to give free valuations as I am self-employed and cannot take excessive time on such enquiries unless there is some form of payment to cover my time. Please do not think me rude but with I was getting over 50 emails a day on this subject, I would need to spend hours a day earning nothing.

Taxidermy items are like any form of art ie it is down to who did it and how well it is done. An average item can be from 50p to over £1,000. Have a look around the web and look for a similar item in species and quality as a guide.

One other thing to bear in mind is that you may need a Licence to sell the item. check with DEFRA now Animal Health.


I am only interested in better quality or named cased items. Please provide as much information as you can about each item with photographs.  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, your details may be given to the authorities and you may be liable for prosecution.

I am unable to give a quick free advice on this due to the complexity and possible legal implications.

Licencing depends on the item and you should get in contact with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) at Rm 8/22 Tollgate House Bristol BS2 9DJ. They are the governing body for Taxidermy in the UK.

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 6 are mammal specialist taxidermists. I am a Master in Bird Taxidermy and Specialist in Birds, Mammals, Game Heads taxidermist and have advanced qualifications in Birds and Mammals. Like purchasing an oil painting, you would go to an artist whose work you liked and you can afford. Items can also be sent around the country and abroad.

If you are just looking for a taxidermist near to you and you and quality is not important, try your local Yellow Pages.

When choosing a taxidermist, 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 Choosing a Taxidermist which will have further useful information.

This is not "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 get 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 but you may be able to re-oil and stake which again is complex and really for a skilled person.

A great starting point is one of the courses I offer - Beginner Taxidermy Training Course

If none of my courses are appropriate for you, you should expect as a minimum a three day course with a qualified taxidermist specialising in the field of taxidermy that you are interested in. A taxidermist's qualification can be checked via the Guild of Taxidermists website . www.taxidermy.org.uk.

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 although the more complex demonstrations of some advanced areas of taxidermy provided by the Guild will make more a lot more sense after having attended one of my or another good course.

At the moment, I have a small mammal taxidermy training book - Beginner Taxidermy Training Book.  I am working on a bird taxidermy training book.

I use Watkings and Doncaster www.watdon.co.uk / John Hallett http://stores.ebay.co.uk/jhtsupplies or Snowdonia www.snowdoniasupplies.co.uk. There are also many American and European supply companies if you are serious about order size or complexity.  You should get a list of suppliers if you do a search for 'taxidermy supplies uk'.

You can keep any item in a freezer. This will be fine and will keep for several years well wrapped in polythene. Put it in a box if it is small/fragile to protect it. Remember to record How, Where and When it died.  This information is needed by taxidermists to comply with UK Taxidermy Law.

If an item is too large, it would need to be skinned by a taxidermist. It can then be frozen.

Please look at the information on my Price List page which will help Pet Taxidermy

I get a considerable number of journalists wishing to talk to me or customers of mine about pet taxidermy. I actually get more enquiries from journalists regarding pets than I do from pet owners!.

Taxidermists in the UK usually mainly do wild UK animals and the usual cause of death of these are killed by the general public eg road traffic accidents, flying into windows, power lines, pollution, cats etc..

Please only contact me if you appreciate the fact that pet taxidermy is a minuscule part of the trade. You can also find more information on the art of taxidermy at the Guild of Taxidermists' website.

Repair: If the item is not very valuable, this can be done by your local taxidermist (have a look in your local yellow pages).
Insect attack: I believe current museum policy is to freeze the item below 22C or lower for approximately 2 weeks, remove the item from the freezer and keep it in a sealed bag for a week, then re-freeze for a further week.  This ensures that any eggs that hatch due to a mock spring are killed.
Cleaning: This can be done by gently knocking off dust or using a blower on mammals.  A damp cloth can also be used to clean more stubborn stains. You will need to take the item to a taxidermist if this fails or you feel this is beyond this stage.

Please Phone or email:

Please let me know if you are not in the UK as this can influence whether an item can be exported.

Mike Gadd.
Tel: +44 (0)1937 844580

Hollydean Cottage

Padmans Lane
Boston Spa
West Yorkshire
LS23 6BR

England UK

My email is: mike@SPAMMtaxidermy.co.uk (take the word "spamm" out of the email address)