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Dangerous Wild Animal Licence

To keep certain of dangerous and exotic animals, individuals and businesses need a licence.

Excluding those kept in a zoo, circus or pet shop, if you keep certain dangerous or exotic animals, either at your home or business, you need to hold a licence issued by the Council.  Following an assessment of your business by a member of the Environmental Health team and a vet, the Council may issue you with a licence.  Licences need to be renewed up to every two years.  Before deciding an application East Herts Council must consider a report from a veterinary surgeon detailing whether the premises are suitable for the animals you wish to keep. 

A full list of animals which need to be licenced can be found in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be over 18 years of age and must have not been disqualified:

  • from keeping any dangerous wild animals
  • from having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how animals are kept, dealing animals or transporting or being involved in the transporting of animals
  • from owning, keeping dealing or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

You'll need to show that:

  • it is not contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise to get the licence
  • any animal concerned will at all times of its being kept only under the authority of the licence
  • the animal(s) will be held in accommodation which is secure and prevent escape, which is suitable as regards construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness and which is suitable for the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation
  • the animals will be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals
  • appropriate steps will at all such times be taken for the protection of any animal concerned in case of fire or other emergency
  • all reasonable precautions will be taken at all such times to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases

Fines and penalties

You can be fined up to £5,000 if you keep a dangerous wild animal without a licence.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from East Herts Council by the end of the target completion period.

How long will my application take to process?

We aim to process your application within 42 calendar days.

Failed Application Appeals

If you are refused a licence, you should in the first instance discuss this with the inspecting officer who will explain why you have not been successful and what works are needed in order to enable the Council to issue a licence.  If you are still dissatisfied with the reasons for refusal you can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

Licence Holder Redress

If you are unhappy with any of the licence conditions added to your licence, you should in the first instance discuss this with the inspecting officer who will explain why they have been added. If you are still dissatisfied with the reasons for any conditions you can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

Consumer Complaints

Depending on the nature of the complaint, we would always advise that in the first instance contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).  If that has not worked and you are located in the UK,  Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the  UK European Consumer Centre.

Apply and Renew Online

To apply for or renew a dangerous wild animals licence you need to complete our online application form below.

A licence costs £265, not including vet charges. Dangerous wild animal licences last for up to two-years from when they are granted.

  1. Please note, in order for a Dangerous Wild Animals licence to be granted, we will need to inspect the premises and the licence fee will need to be paid. Upon, application, we will be in touch to proceed with this.
  2. Your Contact Details
  3. Details of Premises and Animals
  4. Declaration
  5. Data Protection Clause
    1. For the purposes of current data protection laws the information you supply the Council as part of your application will be used for the purposes of dealing with your request and retained as per our published corporate data protection privacy policy which can be found on the East Herts District Council Data Protection page (this link opens in a new window).

      From time to time this information may be shared with other Council departments and / or outside partners to process your request as effectively as possible. Please confirm you have read the above privacy notice
    2. *