The keeping of certain species of wild animals is controlled by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
Address: Licensing Unit, 1st Floor, Parker Lane, Burnley, BB11 2DT
No person may keep any dangerous wild animal without first obtaining a licence from their local authority.
The animals for which a licence is required before they may be kept are listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 1984.
Licences to Keep Dangerous or Wild Animals
Applications for a licence must be made to the Local Authority before you obtain the animal (unless you are applying for a renewal of a licence).
There is a licence fee payable at the time an application is made.
The applicant will also be required to pay the cost of inspections carried out by the Council's authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner. The report of the authorised officer must satisfy the Council that the premises are suitable for the animal before a licence is granted.
Where the Council issues a licence, that licence will be subject to such conditions as the Council sees fit and in each case these conditions will specify that:
a) only the person named on the licence shall be entitled to keep the animal
b) the animal shall only be kept on the premises named on the licence
c) the animal shall not be moved or may only be moved in accordance with conditions specified in the licence
d) the licensee must hold a current insurance policy, approved by the Council, which insures against liability for damage caused by the animal
e) only the species and number of animals listed on the licence may be kept
f) the licensee shall make a copy of the licence and its contents available to any other person listed on the licence as being able to look after the animal
The Council may at any time revoke or amend any licence condition apart from those covered by a) to f) above.
Where a licence is granted that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on the 31st December of the year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before that date if the licence holder is to continue to keep the animal(s) named on the licence.
Offences and Penalties
Anybody found guilty of keeping an animal covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 without a licence to do so or anybody found guilty of failing to comply with any licence condition shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000.
Any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector or Authorised Veterinary Practitioner or Veterinary Surgeon shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000.
Where a person keeps an animal without a licence or where a person fails to comply with a licence condition, Inspectors from the Council may seize the animal and may either retain it or have it destroyed or disposed of (to a zoo or elsewhere) without compensation to the owner.
Where the Council incurs any expense in seizing, retaining or disposing of an animal then the person who was the keeper of the animal shall be liable for those costs.
Copies of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and other legislation mentioned in this information sheet can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office
A copy of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 can be inspected at the Council Offices where you may also obtain an application form and further help or advice.