Dangerous wild animals licence

Any persons who wish to keep dangerous wild animals (e.g. lions, monkeys, spiders, lizards etc.) on their premises, must make application for a licence from us to do so under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

A licence will only be granted when the Council is satisfied that it would not be contrary to public interest on the grounds of safety or nuisance, that the applicant is a suitable person and that the animal's accommodation is adequate and secure.

There are fees applicable to this process.


Persons wishing to keep dangerous wild animals on their premises.

The following do not require a licence:

  • a zoo within the meaning of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 for which a licence is in force (or is not for the time being required) under that Act;
  • a circus;
  • premises licensed as a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951;
  • a place which is a designated establishment within the meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986

An application must:

  • specify the species (whether one or more) of animal, and the number of animals of each species proposed to be kept under the authority of the licence;
  • specify the premises where any animal concerned will normally be held;
  • be made to the Local Authority in whose area those premises are situated;
  • be made by a person who is neither under the age of 18 nor disqualified under this Act from keeping any dangerous wild animal; and
  • be accompanied by such fee as the Authority may stipulate

The Council must be satisfied that:

  • it is not contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise to grant the licence;
  • the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence under this Act;
  • any animal concerned will at all times of its being kept:be held in accommodation which secures that the animal will not escape, which is suitable as regards construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness and which is suitable for the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation; and
  • be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals
  • appropriate steps will at all times be taken for the protection of any animal concerned in case of fire or other emergency
  • all reasonable precautions will be taken at all such times to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases;
  • while any animal concerned is at the premises where it will normally be held, its accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise
  • That the application for it is made by a person who both owns and possesses, or proposes to own and to possess, any animal concerned except where the circumstances are exceptional.
  • That a veterinary surgeon or practitioner has inspected the premises where any animal will normally be held in pursuance of the licence and the Authority has received and considered a report by the surgeon or practitioner, on whether the premises are such that any animal proposed to be kept may suitably be held there, and describing the condition of the premises and of any animal or other thing found there.

Licences last for two years.

Yes, to the Magistrates Court. The Court can give such directions as it thinks fit.

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