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Dangerous wild animal licence

If you want to keep a dangerous wild animal you need a licence, which you must get before buying the animal.

Regulations

The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 regulates the keeping of dangerous wild animals.

Animals mentioned in the act include:

  • wild boar
  • emu
  • ostrich
  • venomous snakes
  • capuchin monkeys.

Check the list of dangerous animals if you are not sure if you need a licence.

Requirements

Before granting a licence we must be satisfied that: 

  • it is not contrary to the public interest to do so on the grounds of safety, nuisance or other grounds 
  • the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence to keep the animals listed on the application 
  • the animal(s) will be kept in accommodation that prevents its escape and is suitable in respect of construction, size, temperature, drainage and cleanliness 
  • that the animal(s) will be supplied with adequate and suitable food drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals 
  • appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the protection of the animal(s) in case of fire or other emergency 
  • all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases 
  • the animal(s) accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise .

Licence conditions

Where a licence is granted that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on the 31 December of the year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before that date if the licence holder is to continue to keep the animal(s) named on the licence.

We may at any time revoke or amend any licence condition apart from those covered below:

  • only the person named on the licence shall be entitled to keep the animal 
  • the animal shall only be kept on the premises named on the licence 
  • the animal shall not be moved or may only be moved in accordance with conditions specified in the licence 
  • the licensee must hold a current insurance policy, approved by us, which insures against liability for damage caused by the animal 
  • only the species and number of animals listed on the licence may be kept 
  • the licensee shall make a copy of the licence and its contents available to any other person listed on the licence as being able to look after the animal .

If granted, the licence will need annual renewal and a fee is payable. As well as the licence fee, the applicant may also have extra vets fees to pay.

Apply for a licence

Contact us to apply for a licence. There is a fee of £110.

Offences and penalties

  • anybody found guilty of keeping an animal covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 without a licence to do so or anybody found guilty of failing to comply with any licence condition shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000
  • any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an inspector or authorised veterinary practitioner or veterinary surgeon shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000
  • where a person keeps an animal without a licence or where a person fails to comply with a licence condition, our Inspectors may seize the animal and may either retain it or have it destroyed or disposed of (to a zoo or elsewhere) without compensation to the owner
  • where we incur any expense in seizing, retaining or disposing of an animal then the person who was the keeper of the animal shall be liable for those costs.