Here at Paxton Gate, we have a deep fascination and respect for the natural world. Part of our philosophy is ensuring that our product offering is ethically sourced.
Taxidermy, along with animal skulls and skeletons are among the many items that our customers purchase online and in the stores. We want you to know that we go out of our way to source items that have either died of natural causes or were otherwise trapped and euthanized in humane ways as part of animal care and control programs intended to manage wildlife populations. In some cases, individual animals are collected and euthanized by licensed nuisance trappers. Additionally, all of the baby livestock (deer, boars, ostrich, etc.) that we occasionally carry were stillborn or died shortly after birth of natural causes. Most of the larger and game items are vintage pieces from many years ago, and therefore sourcing is difficult to confirm. Others come from areas where certain animals are much more common than they are here, and licensed hunters are required to meet legal quotas as part of a system of wildlife management. We do not support the trade of poached or endangered animals nor cruel ranching practices.
Insects are often collected in their native habitats by people indigenous to the same locale. This regulated practice gives people the means to make an income off the surrounding habitat by keeping it in its natural state, and even in some cases reforesting with native host plants intended for particular species. In the end the effect on insect populations is positive as opposed to the alternative—loss of habitat due to farming, development, and pesticides. Our insects are often from South-East Asia but also endemic to the Americas, Africa, Madagascar, and other regions of the world. Many of the larger and bird-wing butterflies are ranched by conservationists who release about 50% of what they raise and sell the remainder to fund their organizations thereby helping to replenish threatened species in the wild.