Many mounts currently in circulation are not legal. An example of a mount that likely is not legal is any songbird or bird of prey that is not on display in a government building or museum. There many different federal laws that regulate the sale of taxidermy as additional laws that vary state to state. Selling mounted specimens that are illegal may result in high fines and jail time. Aaron Halstead, recently prosecuted for illegally trading animal parts, was sentenced to 24 weeks in jail after caught with sperm whale teeth, a cheetah skull and a dolphin. In the United States, a few of the federal laws include:
- The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which primarily protects migratory birds such as song birds or hummingbirds as well as some birds of prey,
- The Endangered Species Act, which protects animals that are list as "threated" or "endangered",
- The Marine Mammal Protect Act which protects marine animals such as polar bears, manatees, and marine otters.
The law regarding the sale of taxidermy differs state to state just like laws for hunting and fishing. The website estatesales.org put together an in-depth article focusing on the sale of taxidermy goods. They have also researched state specific and documented the findings in their article. To see what your state laws are, visit their article.