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Dangerous Wild Animals 

You need a licence to keep some animals, eg:

  • wild cats
  • primates
  • wild dogs, e.g. wolves
  • certain pigs, e.g. wild boar
  • marsupials.
You must obtain a Dangerous Wild Animals licence and meet the conditions if you want to keep a dangerous wild animal. You must make sure it is kept in conditions which:
  • create no risk to the public
  • safeguard the welfare of the animals.
The applicant must:
  • be at least 18 years old
  • own, or propose to own, and possess all of the animals that are to be included on the licence. 
We will not grant a licence unless satisfied that:
  • it would not be contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise
  • the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence and is adequately insured
  • animals will be held in secure accommodation to prevent them from escaping.
Accommodation for animals is suitable with regard to:
  • the construction and size of the quarters
  • temperature and lighting
  • ventilation
  • drainage and cleanliness
  • the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation.
  • appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of any animal in case of fire or other emergency
  • appropriate steps will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases.
The animals will be suitably:
  • fed
  • watered
  • supplied with adequate bedding material
  • visited at suitable intervals
  • exercised.
Which animals require a licence? The animals requiring a licence before they may be kept are listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 2007. 
The Act does not apply to any dangerous wild animal kept in:
  • a zoo
  • a circus
  • premises selling animals as pets etc. under licence issued under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018
  • a place specified in a Section 2C licence issued under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
What do I need to consider before applying?
  • Keeping any dangerous wild animal will require a great deal of commitment in order to ensure its well being.
  • You should be certain that you are prepared to take on this commitment and have carried out the necessary research to ensure you are fully aware of the care and facilities which the animal requires.
  • Some animals can grow quite large and need adequate space for exercise. You should consider whether you have the space to house the animal correctly.
  • A condition of a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence is that adequate insurance cover is provided.
  • Consider whether you are able to afford to pay for vets’ bills, the animal you may be proposing to keep might require treatment from a specialist vet.
  • Consider if you should discuss the issue of having an animal which requires a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence at your premises with your immediate neighbours.
  • You may need to source a supplier for the type of food required to satisfy the dietary requirements for the animal you intend to keep.
  • Some animals will produce waste products which are difficult to dispose of.
  • You will need to make adequate arrangements to ensure that all feed kept on site is stored in suitable vermin proof containers and that all waste food is removed regularly so as not to attract vermin.


Zoo's can range from the traditional type of zoo and safari park to small specialist collections such as butterfly houses and aquaria.

To run a zoo in the Carlisle area, you need a licence from us.

The licence may be subject to fees, and conditions to ensure the proper conduct of the zoo.

At least two months before making an application for a licence, you must give notice in writing to the Licensing Team of your intention to make the application. The notice must identify:

  • the zoo's location
  • the types of animals, approximate number of each
  • the arrangements for their accommodation, maintenance and wellbeing
  • the approximate number of staff to be employed in the zoo
  • the approximate number of visitors and motor vehicles for which accommodation is to be provided
  • the approximate number and position of access to be provided to the premises
  • how required conservation measures will be implemented at the zoo

At least two months before making the application, you must also publish notice of that intention in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and exhibit a copy of that notice. The notice must identify the location of the zoo and state that the application notice to the local authority is available to be inspected at the local authority offices.

* Where an application relates to more than one activity, the higher licence application/Issue fee will apply and the additional activity fee will also be payable for each additional licensable activity applied for.

+ DEFRA Vets Fee (Application / Year 1 and Year 4)

+ DEFRA Vets Fee if required

Licence Type 2023-24 PART A Application Fee  PART B Grant of Licence Fee Additional Cost to Applicant
Dangerous Wild Animals New / Renewal (Includes inspection in year 2) £338.80 £146.30 + Specialist Vets Fee
Variation £146.30 N/A + Specialist Vets Fee if required
Zoo Licence
Fee calculated based on officer time spent considering the application, conducting the inspection and the expenses of the personnel involved (including visit by a DEFRA appointed Vet)
New - 4 Year Licence £378.40
(Officer hourly rate of £64.84 will be applied for applications exceeding 5 hours of officer time)
£933.90 + DEFRA Vets Fee (Application / Year 1 and Year 4)
  Renewal - 6 Year Licence £378.40 £1778.70 + DEFRA Vets Fee (Year 3 and Year 6)
  Variation £146.00  N/A  + DEFRA Vets Fee if required

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