You need a licence to keep certain species of dangerous wild animals Opens in a new window.


Applications for a licence must be made to us, and a licence may be issued providing the applicant is not disqualified or has been convicted under the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976 Opens in a new window.

  Download a dangerous wild animal licence application

Where a licence is granted that licence will remain valid for 2 years from the date of issue and must be renewed before that date if the licence holder is to continue to keep the animal(s) named on the licence.


The fee for a licence is £550.

You will also be required to pay the cost of an inspection carried out by our authorised veterinary surgeon or approved practitioner who will submit a report on whether the cages, food and other living conditions are suitable.

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.

Before granting a licence the Licensing Inspector must be satisfied that:

  1. It is not contrary to the public interest to do so on the grounds of safety, nuisance or other grounds.
  2. The applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence to keep the animals listed on the application.
  3. The animal(s) will be kept in accommodation that prevents its escape and is suitable in respect of construction, size, temperature, drainage and cleanliness.
  4. That the animal(s) will be supplied with adequate and suitable food drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals.
  5. Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the protection of the animal(s) in case of fire or other emergency.
  6. All reasonable precautions are taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
  7. The animal(s) accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise.
  8. Where the Council issues a licence, that licence will be subject to such conditions as we see fit and in each case these conditions will specify that:
    1. Only the person named on the licence shall be entitled to keep the animal.
    2. The animal shall only be kept on the premises named on the licence.
    3. The animal shall not be moved or may only be moved in accordance with conditions specified in the licence.
    4. The licensee must hold a current insurance policy, approved by us, which insures against liability for damage caused by the animal.
    5. Only the species and number of animals listed on the licence may be kept.
    6. 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.
  9. We may at any time revoke or amend any licence condition apart from those covered by 8 a) to 8 f) above.