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Dangerous Wild Animal Licences

A "Dangerous Wild Animal" is defined as any animal which is included on the list of animals specified in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 1981, which can be viewed on the link below.

No person may keep any dangerous wild animal without first obtaining a licence from their local authority. This aims to ensure that where private individuals keep dangerous wild animals they do so in circumstances which create no risk to the public and which safeguard the welfare of the animals.

Application process

  • Research whether you require a licence for your particular animal by checking the Schedule of Species and consider the dangerous wild animal licence conditions see the Canine and Feline Sector Group link below
  • If you have any doubts or wish to discuss your application, please contact us
  • Download and print an application form below
  • Sign and return the application to us along with a copy of your insurance and your payment. Costs are listed in the table of fees below
  • Before granting any licence we are required to consider an inspection report of the premises produced by a veterinary surgeon. The cost of this inspection will be recharged to the applicant - variable price
  • If you are refused a licence you may appeal this judgement to the Magistrates' Court


Application Price
The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 £99 application fee per activity
+ veterinary inspection costs where necessary
The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 £110 grant fee per licence
Dangerous Wild Animal Licence £225 + veterinary inspection costs
Zoo Licence £960 + veterinary inspection costs
Offences and penalties

Anybody found guilty of keeping an animal covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 without a licence, or anybody found guilty of failing to comply with licence conditions shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000.

Any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector, authorised Veterinary Practitioner or Veterinary Surgeon shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000.

If a dangerous wild animal is being kept without the authority of a licence or in contravention of a licence condition, we can seize the animal and retain it, destroy it or otherwise dispose of it. We may recover costs from the keeper of the animal at the time of any seizure.

Disqualifications and cancellations

The court may cancel a licence, or disqualify someone from having a licence to keep a dangerous wild animal for a period of time as the court sees fit. The cancellation or disqualification may be suspended by the court in the event of an appeal.

Cancellations and disqualifications may take place where a person is convicted of an offence under the following acts:

  • Wild Animals Act 1976
  • Protection of Animals Act 1911-1964
  • Protection of Animals (Scotland) Act 1912-1964
  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Riding Establishments Act 1964-1970
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973
  • Animal Welfare Act of 2006

Zoo licence

We are the issuing authority for Zoo licences. More information on getting a Zoo licence can be found on the website, which offers guidance about eligibility.

If you'd like to apply to us for a licence please contact our Animal Services team using the form below.

Last updated 14 October 2022
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