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Dangerous wild animals

The keeping of certain species of wild animals is controlled by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and Dangerous wild animals act 1976 modification order 1984. No person may keep any dangerous wild animal without first obtaining a licence from us. Zoos, pet shops and circuses are exempt from this type of licence as these types of premises require separate licensing conditions.

To apply for a licence, you must:

  • be over 18 years old
  • be able to care for and take responsibility for the animal or animals in your care
  • have never been disqualified from keeping any dangerous wild animal

We take any previous offences relating to either the mistreatment of or the negligence in care of animals very seriously.

We advise applicants to discuss their need for a licence prior to completing an application, with a member of the Animal Licensing team.

The cost of a new, or renewal of a dangerous wild animal licence is £674.

There may be extra costs to pay for veterinary inspections carried out as part of the application. These vary in price depending on which surgery carries out the inspection and are paid directly to them.

This licence needs to be renewed every two years.

Make a licence application

Before you start

You will need:

  • details of the applicant, agent (if applicable), business and the premises to be licensed
  • details of any emergency key holder(s), insurance policy and veterinary surgery
  • to have read the relevant statutory guidance (links available in the form)
  • documents to be uploaded, these include:
    • plan of the premises
    • insurance policy
    • standard operating procedures
    • emergency response plan
    • prevention and control of spread of disease procedure
    • qualifications, knowledge and experience
    • training records
  • a credit or debit card to make your fee payment

If you require assistance with your application, please contact the Environmental Health team on 01622 602450 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Apply now

Changes to an existing licence

If you are an existing business and need to report a change of circumstances, please contact the Environmental Health team by email to or telephone 01622 602450. Please note, there is a variation charge for all changes.

Statutory guidance

The following statutory guidance applies to the keeping of dangerous wild animals: