Dangerous Wild Animal Licence - Applying for a Licence

Dangerous Wild Animal Licence - Applying for a Licence
Licence Summary

To keep a dangerous wild animal, you need a licence from the local authority. The number of animals that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.


A local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises. You must comply with any terms or conditions attached to a certificate.


The information you need in order to decide if you need a licence and the licensing standards you must meet are detailed below. The renewal process uses the same application form

Information and guidance on the law

Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976


Updated Schedule of what counts as a dangerous wild animal


DEFRA guidance

How to apply

If you wish to apply for a licence or change the details of an existing licence, the application for the grant of a Dangerous Wild Animals licence form can be downloaded here.


Our standard conditions for dangerous wild animals can be found here.

Application fees

Download a copy of the application fees.

The application process

Any application made to us for a licence must be made (unless in exceptional circumstances) by the person who proposes to own and possess the animal and must:-  


  1. Specify the species and number of animals to be kept;

  2. Specify the premises where the animals will normally be kept;
  3. Be made to us for those premises;

  4. Be made by a person 18 years of age or over and not disqualified from holding a licence under the Act; and
  5. Be accompanied by a fee stipulated by us at a level sufficient to meet the direct and indirect costs involved.  

Applications not complying with these requirements can not be granted by us.


Once you have completed the application form, we will arrange to visit you with a vet so that the standards of your premises can be assessed. If there are any areas where improvement is needed, we will provide you with the information you need to comply with the licensing conditions.


We may not grant a licence unless:-


(a)  It will not be contrary to the public interest on grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise to issue a licence;

(b)  The applicant is suitable;

(c)  Animals will:-

  • be held in secure accommodation suitable in size for the animals kept and which is suitable as regards construction, temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness and
  • have adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding and be visited at regular intervals;

(d)  Be appropriately protected in case of fire or other emergency;

(e)  Be subject to precautions to control infectious diseases;

(f)  Be provided with adequate exercise facilities.


We are required to specify conditions which:-


(a)  Require the animals to be kept only by persons specified in the licence;

(b)  Require the animals to be normally held at the premises specified in the licence;

(c)  Require the animals not to be moved from those premises unless in circumstances allowed for in the licence;

(d)  Require the licence holder and person keeping the animals to be insured against liability for damage caused by the animals to the satisfaction us;

(e)  Restrict the species and numbers of animals;

(f)  Require a copy of the licence to be made available by the licence holder to persons entitled to keep the animals; and

(g)  Any other conditions necessary or desirable to secure the objectives specified in paragraphs (c) - (f) listed under 'matters for consideration' above.


We can attach any other conditions which we think fit , but if it is to permit the animal to be taken into another Local Authority area for more than 72 hours, we must consult that Local Authority. 


Conditions not required by the Act to be attached to the licence may be revoked or modified by us or new conditions may be added. These variations come into effect immediately if they were requested by the licence holder but otherwise we must notify the licence holder in writing and allow a reasonable time for compliance.


Once your premises are licensed, we will inspect as appropriate, and we may also carry out interim visits.


As part of the licence process, you will need to update us with any changes to the premises where you keep the animals.


Please note that some details of your premises may be included on our web-site, and your details may also be shared with other statutory bodies as appropriate.

Does Tacit Approval apply?

Tacit approval does not apply to this licence, as it is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us for an update on your application.  


Please note that the overall approval process may take longer than 28 days, to allow for the necessary inspection processes

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.


Where a person is convicted of an offence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 or under:  


  • Protection of Animals Act 1911 to 1964;
  • Protection of Animals (Scotland) Act 1912 to 1964;
  • Pet Animals Act 1951;
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963;
  • Riding Establishments Act 1964 to 1970;
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973;
  • Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.  

The Court may cancel any licence he may hold to keep a dangerous wild animal and disqualify him, whether or not he is current holder, from holding such a licence for such a period as the Court thinks fit. The cancellation or disqualification may be suspended by the Court in the event of an appeal.

Appeals and Complaints

If your application is refused, or if you do not accept any of the licence conditions imposed as part of the approval, you should contact the officer dealing with your licence in the first instance. We will always inform you of the appeal procedures when refusing a licence, or on request. We will also inform you of our complaints procedure, should you feel that your application has been improperly processed. Further information on making a complaint can be found here.


Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against the refusal of their licence application or a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court, and the Courts may give and direction regarding the licence and its conditions as it thinks proper.

Trade Associations

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

Please Note - Torfaen County Borough Council (The Council) is under a duty to protect the public funds which it administers and to this end may use the information you provide within Torfaen County Borough Council for the prevention and detection of fraud. The Council may also share this information with other bodies administering or in receipt of public funds solely for these purposes. For further information, visit the National Fraud Initiative area of the website.

Last Modified: 04/03/2022
For more information contact:


Tel: 01633 647263

Email: licensing@torfaen.gov.uk

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