Wealden District Council

Dangerous Wild Animals

Licence Summary

A Licence is required for anybody wishing to keep a Dangerous Wild Animal. The only time a Licence is not required is if the animal is kept in a zoo, circus or pet shop.

For further information, and a list of those animals considered to be dangerous under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, contact Gov.uk  (external link)

Eligibility Criteria

The Licence requires the owner to keep the animal(s) in suitable and safe conditions, for the welfare of the animal(s) and protection of the public.

Premises must be inspected by a Veterinary Officer before a Licence can be granted.

Licences can be refused or issued subject to specific conditions, including:

  • Requirements that they will not be moved from the Licensed Premises (unless allowed for in the Licence)
  • The Licence Holder must be insured against liability 
  • Restrictions on the species and number of animals to be kept

If a Dangerous Wild Animal is being kept without the authority of a Licence or in contravention of a Licence condition, the Local Authority may seize the animal and retain it, destroy it or otherwise dispose of it.

Application Process and Fees

The fee payable for a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence will depend on what is being applied for:

  • Small individual animals or small collections cost £235 plus the veterinary costs incurred (for both grant and renewal)
  • Large individual animals or collections cost £285 plus the veterinary costs incurred (for both grant and renewal)
  • Farms comprising of animals such as ostrich and wild boars cost £775 plus the veterinary costs incurred for the grant of the licence and £295 plus the veterinary costs incurred for each renewal
  • To vary your Dangerous Wild Animal licence costs £230 plus the veterinary costs incurred.

Veterinary inspection costs associated with the Dangerous Wild Animals are payable by the applicant/licence holder. The Council will pay the veterinary practice and then we will invoice you separately to recover the costs.

For new applications only, applicants may pay 5% less when making an application. If you do, you would then be invoiced for this amount plus £20 for the additional administration cost, when the licence has been issued.

Certain inspections under the licensing regime involve a veterinary practice appointed by DEFRA. Please note that the Council has no control over who DEFRA appoint, how far they travel and their costs etc.

Conditions may be attached to your licence.

Applicants will not be granted a Licence unless they can show that:

  • It would not be contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise to grant the Licence
  • The applicant is a suitable person to hold a Licence and is adequately insured
  • Animals will be held in secure accommodation to prevent them from escaping
  • Accommodation for animals is suitable with regards to the construction, size, temperature lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness,  and which is suitable for the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation
  • Animals are provided with adequate food, drink and bedding materials and will be visited at suitable intervals
  • Appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of any animal in case of fire or other emergency
  • Appropriate steps will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases
  • While any animal concerned is at the premises where it will normally be held, its accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise.

Tacit Consent

Tacit Consent does not apply to Dangerous Wild Animals Licences.

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from the us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

How to Apply

To apply for a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence you must fill out the appropriate application form and return it to us at the address below:

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked Gov.uk can offer advice on Consumer Protection Rights (external link).

Contact Rother and Wealden Environmental Health Service