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Dangerous wild animal licence

Last Modified August 11, 2020

DWA Application Form

You can apply to us providing you are not disqualified, or have been convicted, under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

How much does it cost to apply?

  • £850 for commercial applications
  • £200 for residential applications.

You will also need to pay the cost of inspections carried out by our authorised veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner.

How long does a licence last?

All licences expire on the 31 December of the year they were issued.

All licences need to be renewed before that date if you wish to continue to keep the animal(s) named on the licence.

How can I apply?

You can get application forms from us. Just contact us at our offices below.

Except in exceptional circumstances, the person making the application must be the person who owns and possesses, or proposes to own and possess, the animal concerned.

What will you consider?

Before we grant a licence we will need to be satisfied that:

  • it is not contrary to the public interest to do so on the grounds of safety, nuisance or other grounds;
  • the applicant is a suitable person to keep the animals concerned;
  • the animal(s) will be kept in accommodation that prevents its escape and is suitable in respect of construction, size, temperature, drainage and cleanliness;
  • the animal(s) will be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals.
  • appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the protection of the animal(s) in case of fire or other emergency;
  • all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases;
  • the animal(s) accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise.

Where we issue a licence, it will be subject to conditions which will specify that:
  • only the person named on the licence shall be entitled to keep the animal;
  • the animal shall only be kept on the premises named on the licence;
  • the animal shall not be moved or may only be moved in accordance with conditions specified in the licence;
  • the licensee must hold a current insurance policy, approved by us, which insures against liability for damage caused by the animal;
  • only the species and number of animals listed on the licence may be kept;
  • the licensee shall make a copy of the licence and its contents available to any other person listed on the licence as being able to look after the animal;
  • we may at any time revoke or amend any licence condition, apart from those covered in the list above.

What if you refuse a licence?

You can appeal either against a refusal of licence, of any conditions attached to it. You need to appeal to a Magistrates' Court.

Can I be fined?

A number of offences and penalties apply.

If you are found guilty of keeping a dangerous wild animal without a licence, or fail to comply with any licence conditions, you could be fined up to £2,000.

If you are found guilty of obstructing or delaying an inspector, authorised veterinary practitioner or surgeon, you could be fined up to £2,000.

If you keep a dangerous wild animal without a licence, or if you fail to comply with a licence condition, we may seize the animal from you and either have it destroyed or disposed of (to a zoo or elsewhere) without compensating you. If we incur any costs doing this then you will be liable to pay.

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