Dangerous wild animals

Information about licensing of Dangerous Wild Animals

If you want to keep wild animals not normally domesticated in the UK you will probably need to apply for a licence from the council. There are some exceptions to this, such as pet shops and circuses.

View details about Dangerous Wild Animals legislation* This link will take you to an external website... and a list of the animals it covers (*The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976).

There are conditions attached to the licence you will need to achieve, which aim to protect the welfare of the animal and how you accommodate it, as well as ensure public safety. Please note we may amend these conditions to suit individual circumstances.

Application charges

We make a non refundable charge to consider a licence application and you must pay your fees in full when the application is made. We will need the advice of a vet before we can consider issuing you with a licence, the cost of which we will recharge to you.

View our current fees list


We aim to issue the licence or give reasons why a licence was not granted within three months of receipt of a complete application form where the licence fee has been paid in full.

Licences expire on 31 December each year irrespective of the issue date.


For first applications (and some other circumstances) a site visit will need to be conducted during the consideration of the application to check the facilities of the proposed premises.  There is no deemed approval of applications until a licence is granted or you are informed that the licence will not be issued.

Renewal of licences

Licences expire on 31 December each year.  A licence will only be reissued on receipt of a new application and the appropriate fee.

Appeals and complaints

If you have concerns about how your application is handled the first point of contact will be the case officer dealing with your application.  If you are still not satisfied you can lodge a complaint initially with their line manager. 

If you are dissatisfied with a decision not to issue a licence or by one or more of the conditions attached to your licence you can appeal to the magistrates court.  Contact details for the court can be found here: Oxford magistrates court This link will take you to an external website... .

Other considerations

The following matters are not directly taken into account when considering applications, but you are strongly encouraged to ensure that you have taken account of these issues before applying for a licence (this list is not intended to be exhaustive or comprehensive):

Contact us

An application form can be found under the Downloads section of this form.  If you have a query about a licence please contact Environmental Protection.

Last reviewed: 09 - 04 - 2018

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