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 £622 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

Before you apply, read our Animal Licensing Policy.

You must be 18 or over to apply.

You'll need to complete an application form and email or post it to us, along with:

  • 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
  • evidence of being registered with a suitably qualified vet, with demonstrable experience of working with the species of animals you intend to keep
  • a clear copy of the full front and back of your Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate (this must be no more than two months old at the time you apply)

Download and complete the Apply for a dangerous wild animals licence, PDF, 196KB.

Send the completed application form and other requirements by email or post to:

[email protected]

Buckinghamshire Council
The Gateway
Gatehouse Road
HP19 8FF

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