Licence - dangerous animals

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Do I need a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence?

You must obtain a Dangerous Wild Animals licence and meet the conditions if you want to keep a dangerous wild animal. You must make sure it is kept in conditions which:

  • create no risk to the public
  • safeguard the welfare of the animals.

Which animals require a licence?

The animals requiring a licence before they may be kept are listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 2007.

The Act does not apply to any dangerous wild animal kept in:

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

Who can apply for a Dangerous Wild Animals licence?

The applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • own, or propose to own, and possess all of the animals that are to be included on the licence. 

Who cannot apply for a Dangerous Wild Animal licence?

Any applicant who has previously been disqualified from keeping any dangerous wild animal under the:

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

Accommodation for animals is 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 steps will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases.

The animals will be suitably:

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

What to consider before you apply 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 will need to make adequate 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?

Complete the Dangerous wild animals - application form and send this with the correct payment. You can download the licence form and complete it by hand. See our Licensing current fees and How to pay for General Licences.

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 received, 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 much is a licence and how long does it last?

For the current cost of a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence see the Licensing current fees . A licence is valid for one year, and operates from 1st January to 31st December. You can apply at any time during that period. An applicant can also apply for a licence to be granted for the following calendar year.

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.

Will I need to apply for anything else?

You may need other permissions in addition to those required from us.

These must be obtained before you begin your licensed activities.

Planning permission

Check if you need planning permission before you make a licence application by emailing

Veterinary Surgeon 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.

How do I renew my licence?

You must complete the Dangerous wild animals licence - renewal application form and send this with the correct payment. See our Licensing current fees and How to pay for General Licences

Do you have any powers of seizure?

  • The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 gives us the powers to seize any animal being kept on premises which are unlicensed or failing to comply with a condition on their Licence.
  • Animals may then be either retained in our possession or be destroyed or otherwise disposed of and we shall not be liable to pay compensation to any person in respect of these powers.
  • Where we incur any expense in seizing, retaining or disposing of an animal then the person who was the keeper of the animal is liable for those costs.

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.

Making sure that the welfare needs of the animals are met

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.

Who is responsible for what in Animal Welfare?

See guidance notes for Who is responsible for what in Animal Welfare.

We have an Animal Welfare Charter.

Opening times

Day Times
Monday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Tuesday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Wednesday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Thursday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Friday 9.00am to 12.45pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Useful forms


Contact details

Post address:
Licensing Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 641951
Minicom: 01332 640666
Fax: 01332 643299
Licensing Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street