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Dangerous wild animals licence

If you want to keep wild, dangerous or exotic animals such as spiders, marsupials or venomous snakes you will need to apply for a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence.

You can find a full list of animals covered by the Licence on GOV.UK

This Licence does not apply to circuses, zoos or licenced pet shops.

Before you apply

You need to read and understand the requirements set out on this page before you submit an application for a licence. We cannot proceed with your application unless you give us all the information we need.

You must ensure that you have read and agree to the special conditions listed in the topic below.

Conditions for keeping dangerous wild animals

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

  • the animal shall be kept by no person other than the person or persons specified on the Licence
  • the animal shall normally be held at such premises as are specified on the Licence;
  • the animal shall not be moved from those premises
  • the person to whom the Licence is granted shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him/her 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,

2: The species and number of animals of each species which may be kept under the authority of the Licence shall be restricted to those specified on the Licence.

3: The person to whom the Licence is granted shall at any times make available a copy of the Licence to any person entitled to keep any animal under the authority of the Licence.

Supporting documentation

You need to submit a vet's inspection report with your application. You must obtain and pay for this inspection.

Details of vets who can carry out inspections for dangerous wild animals licences

Garston Vets

Kingston Veterinary Group

Fees and prices

Prices and fees for a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence are shown in the following table.

Dangerous Wild Animals Licence fees
Fees Price
New application fee (payable at time of application) £449
Renewal application fee (payable at time of renewal) £168

Licence duration

We will usually grant a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence for two years, unless we specifically state a shorter period.

How to apply

When you are sure you are able to provide all the information we require, submit an application using our online form.

Apply for a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence 

Further information

Select a topic below to find out more about Dangerous Wild Animals licences.

The application process

Once we receive your application, we will arrange for an Animal Welfare Officer to visit you to inspect the premises. We will also consult with the following:

  • Avon Fire and Rescue
  • B&NES Development Control

Before we grant you a Licence, we must confirm all of the following conditions:

  • The granting of the licence is not contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, or nuisance
  • The applicant is a suitable person to hold the licence
  • The animal's accommodation is escape-proof, and suitable
  • The animal will be suitably fed and visited at appropriate intervals
  • The animal is protected
  • The animal can take adequate exercise
  • Precautions are taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases

To ensure all of these conditions are met, we must consider a report by a vet. We can only issue a Licence to the person who owns and possesses the animal.

Even if all the specified conditions are met, the grant or refusal of a licence is entirely within our discretion.

Processing time

Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us within 60 days.


To appeal against a decision, email Licensing Services at:

Relevant legislation

Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976

We have made the information on these web pages as comprehensive as possible.  However, in attempting to simplify the law, certain requirements have been omitted. Full details of what you must do are in the relevant legislation.

Laws can and do change. We must advise that only the Courts can give an authoritative opinion on statute law.