Dangerous animals licence

1. While any animal is being kept under the authority of the licence:

i) the animal shall not be kept by any person other than the person or persons specified on the licence

ii) the animal shall only be kept at such premises as are specified  in the licence

iii) the animal shall not be moved from the premises except in the following circumstances, namely, where that movement is  subject to a specific variation of this licence granted by the Council

iv) the person to whom the licence is granted shall hold a current public liability insurance policy which insures him and any other person authorised to keep the relevant animals under the terms of the licence and shall produce the relevant policy document to the authority for inspection at the time of application or renewal.

2. The species and number of animals of each species which may be kept under the authority of the licence shall be restricted to those specified in the licence.

3. The person to whom the licence is granted shall at all reasonable times make available a copy of the licence to any person entitled to keep any animal under the authority of the licence.

4. The Council may attach any other supplemental conditions it thinks fit to a licence having regard to the specific type of animal to be kept.  Any supplemental conditions will be based on the recommendations of a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner, which will be sought prior to the issue of a licence, and which will vary depending on the species of animal to be kept and the proposed accommodation.  For the avoidance of doubt different conditions may apply to different species of animal held at the same premises under the terms of the licence granted.

5. Any variation of the licence for movement of animals from the premises must be sought by notifying the Licensing Officer on telephone number 01332 641945 as soon as possible and at least 24 hours before the movement is to take place. The application for variation need not be in writing, but must contain the following information:-

a) the destination

b) the Local Authority in whose area the animals will be staying

c) the duration of the stay

d) the species and number of animals concerned

6. The person to whom the Licence is granted shall ensure that, by virtue of keeping the animals specified in the licence, all reasonable precautions are taken:

a) to protect the safety of the public; and

b) to ensure that no nuisance is caused to the public

7. The Licence holder shall have regard to the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in respect of issues including but not limited to the need for relevant animals to:

a) be kept in a suitable environment

b) be provided with a suitable diet

c) exhibit normal behaviour patterns

d) be protected from pain, injury, suffering or disease etc

8. Any animal which is being kept under the authority of the Licence shall be:

a) held in accommodation which secures that the animal will not escape, which is suitable as regards its construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness, and which is suitable for the number of animals proposed to be held    in the accommodation; and

b) supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and be visited at regular daily intervals by a competent person.

9. Adequate proposals shall be made for the protection of animals in case of fire or other emergency. If no proposals are provided at the time of application, they shall be submitted for approval, in writing, to the authority within 21 days of the issue of the licence, or of its renewal.

10. All reasonable precautions shall be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases. The licence holder shall be guided by any specific recommendations made by a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner. For the avoidance of doubt, the advice of veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner shall immediately be sought in the event of an outbreak of any infection diseases.

11. Adequate provision shall be put in place to secure that animals kept at the premises can take adequate exercise within the confines of the accommodation they occupy.

12. Where pursuant to clause 1(iii), transportation of animals from the premises to another location necessary, all vehicles and cages used as part of that process must be suitable for the number and species of animals transported and all reasonable steps shall be taken to avoid unnecessary suffering of the animals whilst in transit. Where appropriate the vehicle shall be fitted with double security doors and windows to prevent any part of the animal protruding.

13. Whilst in transit and other times when necessary, the animal(s) shall be in the charge of a suitable experienced person capable of controlling them. That person shall not be less than 18 years of age.

14. The holder of a licence shall be deemed to be the keeper of an animal and all references within these conditions to the term ‘the person to whom the licence is granted’ shall be construed accordingly.

15. A person is deemed to be the keeper of the animal if he has the animal in his possession and the presumption of possession continues even if the animal escapes or it is being transported whether under the keeper’s authority or not.

16. Where an animal is transported outside of the Council’s administrative area, the person to whom the licence is granted shall comply with any reasonable instructions in respect of the animal given by an authorised officer of the Council or the Council in whose area the animal is for the time being present within, and shall provide a copy of this licence for the information of the said authorised officer(s).

17. The person to whom the licence is granted must be 18 years of age or over and shall not be disqualified from holding a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (“the 1976 Act”). Where a person has been convicted of an offence under the 1976 Act or under any other animal welfare or animal licensing legislation, or has been disqualified from keeping animals, no licence shall be issued.

18. If a dangerous wild animal is kept in contravention of a licence condition, the Council may seize the animal and retain it, destroy it or otherwise dispose of it.  The Council shall not in consequence of exercising the powers under the provision be liable for compensation, and may recover its costs incurred in exercising those powers from the keeper of the animal at the time of this seizure.

19. A person authorised by the Council may, upon production of his authority for inspection by the keeper, enter a premises that are either licensed under the 1976 Act or specified in an application for a licence, at all reasonable times, for the purpose of inspecting the premises whether to assess its suitability for the issue of a licence or to assess its compliance with the terms of a licence, whichever may be applicable.  The penalty for obstructing or delaying an authorised officer in the discharge of that function is a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

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.

  • 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.

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. Our licensing payments page explains what fees apply and how to pay them. If you have paid by debit/credit card or by bacs before you have submitted your application form then you must include a copy of your receipt with the application. Any application received without the payment will not be processed.

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.

A licence is valid for one year, and operates from 1 January to 31 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.

Our licensing payments page explains what fees apply and how to pay them.

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.

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 planning.applications@derby.gov.uk

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.

You must complete the Dangerous wild animals licence - renewal application form and send this with the correct payment. Our licensing payments page explains what fees apply and how to pay them.

  • 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.

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.

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.

The Animal Welfare (Primate Licences) (England) Regulations 2023 has been signed into law and will come into force from 6 April 2026.

The legislation brings in a licensing scheme, setting strict rules to ensure that only private keepers who can provide zoo-level welfare standards will be able to keep primates.

Information from DEFRA 

Primates have complex welfare and social needs and, according to most experts, cannot be properly cared for in domestic environments. Evidence, including from the 2019 Call for Evidence ‘Welfare of primates as pets in England’, and the 2020 and 2023 consultations on Primates as Pets in England welcomed regulations for primates and confirmed that primates are often kept in unsuitable conditions, and by owners who are uninformed about the animals’ complex welfare needs. The new regulations will improve the welfare of potentially thousands of these intelligent animals and fulfils a manifesto commitment and Action Plan for Animal Welfare pledge. 

These Regulations are made under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and will prohibit the keeping of primates as pets in England without a specialist licence. Private primate keepers will be subject to a strict inspection regime to ensure welfare and licencing standards are upheld. From 6 April 2026, it will be an offence for anyone to keep a primate without a relevant licence. Failure to comply with licence conditions could result in an unlimited fine, removal of the primate or imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months.

What’s next?

Existing primate keepers will have 2 years until 6 April 2026 to reach compliance with the welfare and licensing standards.
From 6 April 2026 all private primate keepers will be required to hold a licence, valid for a maximum of three years, and undergo reassessment to renew their permission to keep these animals.