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Dangerous, wild or exotic animal

You must have a licence to keep any dangerous, wild or exotic animal. You can view a list of dangerous wild animals on the Gov.UK website

Dangerous wild animals are dealt with under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

Please note: The person applying for the licence must be the person who owns the animal.

Apply for a licence

We split the licence fee into administration costs and enforcement costs. The amount you pay, when submitting your application, covers the administration costs. The remaining amount is payable when we issue the licence.

After we process your application, we will contact you to arrange payment for the outstanding amount giving you 28 days to make payment. After we receive your payment, we will issue the licence.

Should the second payment not be made following reminders the licence application will be rejected, and enforcement action may be considered. In such circumstances the first part fee already paid is not refundable. 

The total fee payable is shown below. This amount consists of the initial administration fee payable with the application and the subsequent enforcement fee payable by credit/debit card prior to the issue of a licence. 

Type of licence

Total fee

Initial payment

Final payment

New – Commercial/outside premises




Renewal - Commercial/outside premises




New – domestic dwelling




Renewal – domestic dwelling




What happens next?

We'll send an officer to visit you. The officer will check that the conditions, cages, food and other arrangements are suitable for the animal.

If you pass the inspection, we'll issue you with a licence. This licence is subject to our standard conditions, and may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your circumstances.

Renew a licence

A licence lasts for two years. You must renew your licence before this date to continue keeping a dangerous wild animal. You may need to change your licence, if you decide to change the number of animals, the type of animals kept or the licence holder details.

Offences and penalties

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a current licence. If you have a dangerous wild animal without a licence or fail to follow licensing conditions you may face a fine and/or up to six months in prison.


You may be able to appeal at a magistrates' court if we refuse a licence, or if you are not satisfied with the condition of the licence.

Please note: If you keep a dangerous, wild or exotic animal without a licence or don't meet licence conditions, we may take the animal and have it destroyed or rehoused. You'll need to pay for any costs incurred.