Dangerous wild animals licences
Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 anyone who keeps a dangerous wild animal must hold a licence issued by the council.
The Schedule attached to the Act lists animals that are considered to be dangerous, and includes various mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates. The licensing procedure does not apply to animals kept in a zoo, circus, pet shop or a place registered as a scientific establishment.
Applying for a licence
When an application is received the premises and animal(s) will be inspected by the council's veterinary surgeon, and subject to a visit from a council licensing inspector.
Licences 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 the animal's accommodation is adequate and secure.
Where the council grants a licence it will impose conditions on the licence covering issues such as:
Other conditions will also usually be imposed which are specific to the type of wild animal(s) being kept.
A licence may be refused, or withheld, on other grounds - if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the keeping of dangerous wild animals.
Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will remain in force for two years from the date it is granted. The licence must be renewed before the expiry date if dangerous wild animals are continued to be kept.
There is an application fee which must be paid at the time the application is submitted. An indication of the likely fee will be given at the time of making the application.
Other matters to consider
Before making an application for a licence to keep a dangerous wild animal you are advised to consider the following: