Apply for a dangerous wild animal licence

You’ll need a licence if you want to keep any dangerous wild animals. You must be over 18 to hold a dangerous wild animals (DWA) licence.

You'll need a separate licence if you sell pets or operating a zoo.

A licence costs £598 and lasts for 2 years. You'll also have to pay for a specialist vet to inspect your premises, we'll arrange this.

What animals you can keep

You can view the list of dangerous wild animals.

If you're unsure if you need a DWA licence for the animal you want to keep, email [email protected].

Before we grant a licence

Before we grant a licence, an authorised vet and council officers must inspect the premises where the animals are to be kept.

We’ll only grant a licence if we’re satisfied that:

  • you’re a suitable person
  • the animal’s accommodation is adequate and secure
  • animal welfare needs are being met
  • there are no public safety issues

How to apply

Apply for a dangerous wild animals licence, PDF, 42.9KB

With your application, you’ll need to provide:

  • the address where the animals will be kept
  • the number and species of animals
  • a plan with the description and dimensions of accommodation to be used
  • details of your qualifications and experience of keeping such animals
  • the security arrangements you’ll have in place
  • details of your insurance policy to cover liability for damage caused by the animals
  • the application fee

Pay the fee

Do not send cash or cheques. We'll contact you for payment when we have verified your application.

Make a change to your licence

You can make a change, or variation, to your dangerous wild animal licence.

There may be additional vet fees to pay depending on what you want to change, for example if you wanted to add a new type of animal to your licence

Email [email protected] to discuss your requirements with a licensing officer.

If you do not have a licence

If you do not have a licence:

  • the animal could be confiscated
  • you could be prosecuted

Contact the animal licensing team