Focus: They do what? - Byways of the charity world - The Guild of Taxidermists

Graham Willgoss

The guild represents taxidermy in the UK by organising lectures, issuing advice and producing a journal that features new techniques and information for its members, all of whom are eligible to use its legal advice scheme.

Affronted by the misrepresentation of what taxidermists do, the guild's website carries an angry statement insisting that "a career in taxidermy is the result of a genuine interest in and respect for natural history".

It doesn't like too much use of the word 'stuffed'. The guild also accuses the BBC of "cheap humour" after it screened a documentary on the profession called Stuff the World.

"To say that a taxidermist stuffs animals is misleading," it explains.

"In fact, the skin is removed, preserved and arranged around a model of the original body."

The guild is keen to point out that many of its members are dedicated naturalists or professional scientists involved in conservation projects and species protection, and that the majority of specimens used in the UK have died of natural causes.

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