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Dangerous animals

Any person that wishes to keep any animal listed in the Schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 must obtain a licence from the District Council.

A licence to keep Dangerous Wild Animals is renewable every 2 years, not annually.

From 1st April 2017 the following licence application fees will apply:

New Application for licence to keep Dangerous Wild Animals -

£160.00 plus all Vet inspection fees (and VAT on Vet fees) and

£16.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of Vet inspection. 

Renewal Application for licence to keep Dangerous Wild Animals -

£134.00 plus all Vet fees (and VAT on Vet fees) if inspection required; and

£16.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of any Vet inspection. 

Vet Inspection

All new applications will require an inspection by a vet, and in some circumstances one may also be needed before your application for renewal can be determined.  In either case you will be invoiced separately for the total costs of the Vet inspection plus VAT.  The inspection will be arranged by the District Council, and a fee plus VAT will be charged for arranging the inspection.


Am I eligible?

Any applicant for a licence must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • own and process, or propose to own and possess, all of the animals that are to be included on the licence, unless there are circumstances which the District Council consider exceptional
  • not have been disqualified under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 from keeping any dangerous wild animal


Regulation summary

Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976

How will my application be evaluated?

The District Council will arrange for an authorised veterinary surgeon/practitioner to undertake an inspection of the premises and produce a report, which the District Council is legally obliged to consider when determining the application.

The Authority will not grant a licence unless satisfied that:

  • it would not be contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise
  • 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 concerned 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.

Conditions may be attached to any licence granted. 

What if I don't hear back within the specified time?

It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact the Licensing Team.


Apply for a dangerous wild animals licence

Renew your dangerous wild animals licence

What happens if my application is refused?

Please contact us in the first instance. If you are refused a licence, or refused a licence renewal you may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.

A licence holder may also appeal to the crown court against a decision of a Magistrates' Court.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first point of contact should be made with the proprietor of the business by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, please contact the Licensing Team for assistance.

If you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Public registers

Register of Dangerous Wild Animals [pdf 24.kb]

Trade associations

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons


Town Hall, Bank Road
Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3NN
01629 761313
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