Dangerous wild animals

Keeping some species of wild animals is controlled by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

You cannot keep any of the animals that are named in the act without first obtaining a licence from us.

To be issued with a licence there are a number of criteria which must be met in relation to accommodation and security measures you have in place. To obtain a licence you must not have been convicted under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. You will also need to pay the relevant fee.

You can apply for a Dangerous Wild Animal License. Fees applicable for the Dangerous Wild Animal licence can be found on the animal welfare licensing page.

For reasons of public safety, you cannot keep a dangerous wild animal until you have obtained your license from us.

Consequences of Failure to Comply With Licensing

Anybody found guilty of keeping an animal covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 without a license or anybody found guilty of failing to comply with any license condition 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, Inspectors from the council 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 the council incurs any expense in seizing, retaining or disposing of an animal then the person who was the keeper of the animal shall be liable for those costs.

Exemptions and Exclusions to License

This does not apply to any dangerous wild animal kept in a zoo, a circus or a premises licensed as a pet shop.

A person is regarded as being the keeper of the animal if they have it in their possession and they remain the 'keeper' and therefore are responsible for the animal, even if it escapes or it is being transported.​

Contact us



0113 378 5959 (Mon to Fri, 9am and 4pm)



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