Dangerous Wild Animals - Licensing

What should you consider before applying for a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence?

  • Keeping any dangerous wild animal will require a great deal of commitment in order to ensure its well being.
  • You should be certain that you are prepared to take on this commitment and have carried out the necessary research to ensure you are fully aware of the care and facilities which the animal requires.
  • Some animals can grow quite large and need adequate space for exercise. You should consider whether you have the space to house the animal correctly.
  • A condition of a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence is that adequate insurance cover is provided.
  • Consider whether you are able to afford to pay for vets' bills, the animal you may be proposing to keep might require treatment from a specialist vet.
  • Consider if you should discuss the issue of having an animal which requires a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence at your premises with your immediate neighbours.
  • You may need to source a supplier for the type of food required to satisfy the dietary requirements for the animal you intend to keep.
  • Some animals will produce waste products which are difficult to dispose of.

You should make sure that all animals:

  • have a suitable environment (place to live)
  • have a suitable diet
  • are exhibiting normal behaviour patterns
  • are housed with or apart from other animals if applicable
  • are protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

Do I need a licence?

Any person who has in their possession an animal listed in the schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 must hold a current licence issued under the Act.  An applicant must be at least 18 years old and own, or propose to own, and possess all of the animals that are included on the licence.

Will my premises need to be inspected?

The inspection ensures that the applicant has sufficient knowledge to keep the particular species and that the premises are suitably equipped.  Due to the nature of the animals listed by the Act consideration will be made on the issue of public safety and provisions in event of escape or emergency.

Accommodation for animals needs to be suitable with regard to:

  • the construction and size of the quarters
  • temperature and lighting
  • ventilation
  • drainage and cleanliness
  • the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation
  • appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of any animal in case of fire or other emergency
  • appropriate stpes will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases

The animals need to be suitably:

  • fed
  • watered
  • supplied with adequate bedding material
  • visited at suitable intervals
  • exercised

We will not grant a licence unless satisfied that:

  • it would not be contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise
  • the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence and is adequately insured
  • animals will be held in secure accommodation to prevent them from escaping
  • you will need to make adquate arrangements to ensure that all feed kept on site is stored in suitable vermin proof containers and that all waste food is removed regularly so as not to attract vermin.

How do I apply for a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence?

You must complete the Dangerous Wild Animals application form and send this with the correct payment.  You can either complete it online or you can download the licence form (at the foot of this page) and complete it by hand.  Please follow these instructions on how to pay for your application.  We may use the information provided for the prevention and detection of fraud.  We also share this information for auditing purposes.

Once your completed application form is receivedm we send an officer to inspect the premises.  A veterinary inspection will also be required.  The applicant will have to pay the relevant inspection fees.

How often are they renewed?

Licences are valid for one year and are specific to the species held. A licence may be granted following a successful inspection by a specialist veterinary surgeon appointed by the local authority and the Animal Welfare Officer.

Due to the nature of the animals requiring licensing, other agencies, such as the police and landlords may be consulted prior to the issue of a licence.

There is an annual application fee and veterinary surgeons charges will be invoiced to the applicant.

What conditions will be attached to a licence?

The following conditions apply ...

  • The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 provides standard conditions that must be specified on a licence.
  • As part of the licence conditions, you are required to ensure that you have adequate Public Liability Insurance which provides cover for the animal(s) which you have on site.

In addition to these conditions we may impose others as we think fit.

You must ensure that any insurance policy you take out provides sufficient cover against any damage which may be caused by the animal should it escape.  The level of insurance will depend on many factors which may include the species and number of animals you wish to keep.

Does a Veterinary Surgeon carry out an inspection?

We will arrange for an authorised Veterinary Surgeon to undertake an inspection of the premises and produce a report, which we are legally obliged to consider when determining this application.  The fee for this service is in addition to the standard licence fee.  You are welcome to request that the premises are inspected by the vet you normally use for the treatment of your animals.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

On certain occasions a vet may recommend that a licence is not issued.  If after consideration we agree and decide that a licence should not be issued, you have the right of appeal to the Magistrates Court against that decision.

For more information and an application form, please contact:

The Animal Welfare Officer
Tel: 01264 36800
Email: envhealth@testvalley.gov.uk

More Information

There is more information on the GOV.UK website: