Dangerous wild animals licence

A person who wishes to keep an animal listed in the Schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (as amended) 1976 must first obtain a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence from the local authority.

The legislation applies to businesses, such as ostrich farms, as well as to individuals who wish to keep a dangerous wild animal, such as a venomous snake, at home. However, it does not apply to dangerous wild animals kept in a zoo or circus, as these are subject to separate licensing requirements.

The legislation aims to ensure that dangerous animals are kept in conditions that create no risk to the public and safeguards the animals’ welfare.

Licence conditions

Licences are valid from the date of issue and remain in force for 2 years thereafter. The licence must be renewed prior to the expiry date of the previous licence. It is an offence to keep a dangerous wild animal without a licence from the council.

The Licence will specify the number of each species allowed to be kept under the authority of the licence and will specify the premises where any animal concerned will normally be held.

Given the unique nature of these licences, the council will impose specific conditions relating to the individual premises based on the particular species of animal housed.

Service standards

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within 4 working days
We will determine your application within 28 days

Relevant legislation

Licence fees and charges

The authority will charge a fee to process your application (use the link below for current fees and charges).  The fee is the same whether you apply online or by post (businesslink.gov.uk or UK Welcomes do not charge an additional fee for online applications).

Environmental Health fees & charges

Application evaluation process

In order to be eligible to apply, you must be over the age of 18 and not be disqualified under the Act from keeping a dangerous wild animal.

In order to determine an application, an independent veterinary inspection by a suitably experienced veterinary surgeon of the animals and premises will be required. The applicant will need to demonstrate that suitable accommodation and care can be provided and that the keeping of the animal(s) would not endanger public safety or create a public nuisance.

A fee is payable for each application and conditions will be attached to any licence granted.

Will tacit consent apply?

No, it is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.


Please contact us in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates’ court.

Any licence holder who objects to a condition attached to a licence may appeal to the local Magistrates court.


Dangerous Wild Animals application form

Contact details

Environmental Health and Licensing
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House

01438 242908 / 242916