The keeping of certain species of wild animals is controlled by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
No person may keep any dangerous wild animal without first obtaining a licence from their local authority.
The animals for which a licence is required before they may be kept are listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 1984.
Licences to keep exotic, dangerous or wild animals
Applications for a licence must be made to us and a licence may be issued providing the applicant is not disqualified or has been convicted under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
Anybody found guilty of keeping an animal covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, without a licence to do so, or anybody found guilty of failing to comply with any licence condition shall be subject to a fine of up to £2,000.
Any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector or Authorised Veterinary Practitioner or Veterinary Surgeon shall be subject to a fine of up to £2,000.
Where a person keeps an animal without a licence or where a person fails to comply with a licence condition, our inspectors may seize the animal and may either retain it or have it destroyed or disposed of (to a zoo or elsewhere) without compensation to the owner.
Where we incur any expense in seizing, retaining or disposing of an animal, then the person who was the keeper of the animal will be liable for these costs.
Find out more about how you can apply for a Exotic, Dangerous or Wild Animals Licence.
Find out more about what happens after you apply for a Exotic, Dangerous or Wild Animals Licence.