Our ethical policy

Where do the animals come from?

Rat

Taxidermy can be a very divisive art form, especially for a country of animal lovers like we are in the UK. Rest assured that none of the animals used at the Morbitorium have been killed specifically for us and we do not condone hunting or animal cruelty in any way.

Our animal specimens come from a variety of different sources…

Roadkill

  • If the animal is still fresh enough and is relatively undamaged it will be used for taxidermy purposes

  • If the damage is too severe or if it has been lying for too long I will let it decompose naturally in a 'bone cage' until just the skeleton remains. These bones will then be used in a variety of different ways

  • We have collected fox, birds, squirrels and rabbits from the roadside

Natural causes

  • Natural causes also include the "food chain". i.e. Birds and rodents that have been killed by our cats etc

  • Some owners have kindly donated their deceased pets to me

  • Birds flying into windows

  • We have been donated many rats, mice and birds

Pet food / Feeder animals

  • These animals were originally destined to be pet food for snakes and other reptiles

  • Our taxidermy classes exclusively use animals from this source as we can guarantee that they are clean and disease free

Is it ethical?

"Ethical" is a tricky word and one that is becoming overused in the field of hobby taxidermy. There is no formally agreed upon code of ethics for taxidermists to adhere to so the phrase is largely meaningless. People tend to take "ethical" to mean "good" but everyone has their own personal code of ethics and yours could differ hugely from next persons, so the important thing is to ask yourself whether the Morbitorium shares or follows your ethical code. As mentioned above, we use naturally deceased animals for our own pieces but for our taxidermy classes we use feeder animals...

More information about feeder animals

  • A good breeder will take excellent care of their feeder animals, feed them well, and make sure they are not neglected

  • If feeder animals get infected or become malnourished then they can cause the animals that subsequently eat them to become sick; this in turn would cause the breeder to have lots of angry customers so it is in their best interest to ensure their feeder animals are in top condition

  • The animals are euthanized in a carbon dioxide chamber where CO2 slowly replaces the oxygen until the animal loses consciousness and dies. This is less traumatising for the animal than the alternative where they have their necks broken and die instantly

If you are OK with how our specimen animals are acquired for the classes then "yes", we are ethical (to your definition of the word).