Dangerous animal licence

It is illegal to keep a dangerous wild animal without holding a licence.​​​​​​

There are many types of animals called a dangerous wild animal, for example crocodiles, the big cats, wolves, ostriches and many poisonous snakes.

Pet shop owners do not need to hold a Dangerous Wild Animal licence to sell a dangerous wild animal but anyone wishing to buy a dangerous wild animal must hold a licence before buying one.

The first time the licence is issued your animal(s) must be inspected by a veterinary surgeon appointed by the Council. The applicant will be expected to pay for this inspection.

The keeping of dangerous wild animals is controlled by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

No person may keep a dangerous wild animal unless they have first obtained a licence from the Council.

Apply for a licence

Licensing of dangerous wild animals

Dangerous wild animals within Havering are licensed by the Council's Licensing team in the Public Protection Service.

Where a licence is granted that licence and any later licence will expire on the 31st December of the year to which it relates and must be renewed before that date.

Fees - There is an application fee of £345.50 plus vet fees which must be paid at the time the application is made. Renewal of a licence is £258.00 

Conditions subject to which Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 licence is granted

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

  • (i) The animal shall be kept by no person other than the person or persons specified above
  • (ii) The animal shall normally be held at such premises as are specified above
  • (iii) The animal shall not be moved from those premises (except in the following circumstances) - none
  • (iv) The person to whom the licence is granted shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him and any other person entitled to keep the animal under the authority of the licence against liability for any damage which may be caused by the animal, the terms of such policy being satisfactory in the opinion of the authority

Havering Council's duties

Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Council's Licensing Inspector:

  • That they are suitably qualified to keep animals with regard to the type and number proposed to be kept
  • That the animals will be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of construction, size, temperature lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • That animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding materials and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals
  • That all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infectious disease amongst the animals
  • That appropriate steps will be taken to protect the animals in the case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable fire fighting equipment
  • A licence may be refused or withheld on other grounds if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the keeping of animals
  • In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises

Your right of appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Court and they may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as they think proper.

Further information

Copies of the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976 and other legislation mentioned in this leaflet can be purchased from the Legislation website.

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