Dangerous wild animals

Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 it is an offence to keep an animal listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (1976) (Modification) (No 2) Order 2007 (PDF) on Legislation.gov.uk schedule without a licence from the local authority. If such animals are kept without a licence the local authority is empowered to seize and either keep, destroy or otherwise dispose of unlicensed animals.

The schedule covers a long list of animals including wild boar, ostrich, monkeys and certain lizards and snakes.

The Act is designed to safeguard the community from wild animals which could be dangerous to the public. Part of the licensing procedure involves an animal welfare assessment and prior to the granting of any licence, an inspection of the animal and the conditions in which it is kept is carried out by a vet.

Dangerous wild animal licence length

Licences remain in force for a period of two years.

Dangerous wild animals act exclusions

The Act does not apply to animals kept in zoos, circuses or pet shops.

Apply to keep a dangerous wild animal

Last updated: Wednesday, 24 April, 2024.