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Any person who wishes to keep certain species of ‘dangerous wild animals’ is required to hold a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. The animals that fall within in the DWA are defined under schedule 4.
However, this does not apply to Zoos, Circuses or Pet Shops which are separately licensed.
The definition of “keeping” a dangerous wild animal by a person is if the animal is in his or her possession. If an animal cannot be said to be in the possession of anybody it is treated as being in the possession of the person who last had it in his or her possession.
A list of kinds of dangerous wild animals can be found here.
The standards of safety and accommodation for the animal is the main point we consider when deciding whether to issue a license. You will also need public liability insurance and this must be provided by you before a licence is granted.
Your premises and animal may be inspected by our officers and a vet.
Download the Dangerous Wild Animals Licence Application Form
See our licensing fees & charges
We aim to turn the application around within 28 days. Note a licence can be varied at any time.
The licence is valid for one year beginning on the day on which it was granted.
If you are refused a licence, or refused the renewal of a licence, in the first instance you should contact the Licensing, Food and safety Manager. If you are still not satisfied, you can from the date of the refusal and within 21 days of being notified of the refusal, appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.
Initially they appeal to the Licensing, Food and Safety Manager regarding the conditions. Then if you still not satisfied you may appeal to a local Magistrates' Court.