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Dangerous wild animals

Information on dangerous wild animals, and how to apply for a licence to keep them

What is a dangerous wild animal?

If you want to buy, or already own an animal on the dangerous wild animal list, you need a licence. This is to make sure you're looking after the animals in the correct way, and they're not a danger to members of the public (under the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976).

To see which animals are classed as wild animals please see our Schedule of Dangerous Wild Animals, this can be found at the bottom of this page. 


The following don't need a dangerous wild animal licence (although they may need another licence):

  • zoo's
  • circuses
  • pet shops
  • registered premises for animal experiments

How to apply

Please complete our application form, and send to us with the fee of £276.00.

You may need planning permission for keeping the animal(s). Please see our planning pages, or contact our Customer Information Centre on 01553 616200 to discuss whether permission will be needed. We cannot accept an application unless any relevant planning permission has been granted.

Neighbourhood nuisance issues

We have a duty to investigate complaints of nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Even if you’ve had a licence or planning permission granted, if we find your premises to have issues like excessive noise, and odour, this could result in formal action being taken. For further advice, please contact

What happens next?

We will visit you, with an animal specialist, to check your premises is suitable, and that you're responsible enough to keep the animal. There is a fee to be paid for the visit from the animal specialist.

If there are no issues, a licence will be issued for two years. The licence will need to be renewed after the two years has expired, we'll send you a renewal form when your licence is close to expiring.

Further information

For further information, please contact us, our contact details are below.