Exotic, dangerous or wild animals

The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Act) (external link) controls the keeping of certain wild animals. 

You cannot keep any dangerous, wild animal without first getting a licence from us. 

Please see the list of animals (external link) controlled by the Act. 


To get a licence you must: 

  • be over 18 
  • not be disqualified or convicted under the Act
  • be the person who owns and possesses, or proposes to own and possess, the animal (except in exceptional circumstances)

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Licence conditions 

You must meet certain licence conditions. 

Before granting a licence, we must be satisfied that: 

  • it isn’t against the public interest to do so on the grounds of safety, nuisance or other grounds 
  • the applicant is suitable to hold a licence to keep the animal 
  • the animal will be kept in accommodation that is suitable: 
  • to prevent escape 
  • in construction, size, temperature, drainage and cleanliness 
  • for it to take adequate exercise 
  • the animal will have enough suitable food, drink and bedding material 
  • the animal will be visited (so far as is necessary) at suitable intervals 
  • appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the animal is protected in case of fire or other emergency 
  • all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases 

All licences will have the following conditions: 

  • only the person named on the licence is entitled to keep the animal 
  • the animal will only be kept on the premises named on the licence 
  • the animal will not be moved, or may only be moved, under conditions specified in the licence 
  • the licensee must hold a current insurance policy, approved by us, which insures against liability for damage caused by the animal 
  • only the species and number of animals listed on the licence may be kept 
  • the licensee will 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 
  • we may at any time remove or change any licence condition apart from those that must be satisfied before granting a licence (see ‘licence conditions’ section above) 

We may attach other conditions as we see fit. 

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Please contact us if you wish to apply


The fee for a year is £585. This is payable at the time you make your application. 

The licence runs from 1 January to 31 December. If we grant a licence mid-year, you will pay the amount for part of the year. 

You will also be required to pay the cost of inspections. 

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Licence renewal 

Licences expire on 31 December.

To continue to keep the animal, you must renew your licence before that date. 

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Your rights of appeal 

You may appeal to the magistrates court if you are unhappy: 

  • that you have been refused a licence 
  • by any of the conditions attached to your licence 

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Offences and penalties 

You may be fined up to £2,000 if you are found guilty of: 

  • keeping an animal covered by the Act without a licence 
  • failing to follow any conditions of your licence 
  • obstructing or delaying an inspector or authorised veterinary practitioner or veterinary surgeon 

We may take the animal and keep it or have it destroyed or disposed of (to a zoo or elsewhere), without compensation to you if you: 

  • keep an animal without a licence 
  • fail to follow a condition of your licence

If costs are involved in taking, keeping or disposing of an animal, you are liable for those costs. 

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Tel: 020 8489 8232 
Email: licensing@haringey.gov.uk

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Page last updated:

October 24, 2022

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