Licences and permits - Dangerous wild animals

Type of licence
Animal licensing
Contact us
Tel: 01925 443322
You need a licence from the council to keep any animal considered to be wild under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976.

The Act does not apply to any dangerous wild animal kept in a zoo, circus, pet shop or registered scientific establishment.

If you are considering keeping a hybrid of a dangerous wild animal with domestic cats and dogs, please contact Environmental Health for further information.

If you wish to keep any animal listed in the Schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, you must obtain a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence from the council.

The Act does not apply to any dangerous wild animals kept in:

- a zoo
- a circus
- premises licensed as a pet shop
- a registered scientific establishment
How to apply
To apply you must:

- be at least 18 years old
- own and possess, or propose to own and possess, all of the animals that are to be included on the licence
- not have been disqualified under the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976 from keeping any dangerous wild animal

You must complete and submit an application form with the relevant fee.
Fees and charges

Please contact Environmental Health to pay by card on 01925 442599 or enclose a cheque with your application made payable to:

Warrington Borough Council and send to:

Economic Regeneration, Growth & Environment
Public Protection Section
New Town House
Buttermarket Street
Download WBC application forms and guidance
Legislation and guidance
After we receive your application
The council will arrange for an authorised veterinary surgeon/practitioner to inspect your premises and produce a report, which the council is legally obliged to consider when determining the application.

The council 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
- you're a suitable person to hold a licence and are adequately insured
- animals will be held in secure accommodation to prevent them from escaping
- you will keep the animals in good, clean and safe condition
- you will provide the animals with adequate food, drink and bedding materials, and visit them regularly
- you will take appropriate steps to protect any animal concerned in case of fire or other emergency
- you will take appropriate steps to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases
- you will provide accommodation that allows the animals to exercise

It is advisable to submit your application to us as soon as possible, as the application process can take up to two months.

The licence runs for two years from the date of issue. The fee for a new application must be submitted on application (the vet's fees are additional to this amount and are payable after the vet's inspection).

We will only grant licences when we are satisfied that:

- it would not be contrary to public interest on the grounds of safety or nuisance
- the applicant is a suitable person
- the animal's accommodation is adequate and secure

We will assess the application against the standard conditions. If we grant a licence, we may impose extra conditions covering issues such as:

- a requirement that the animal be kept only by the person(s) named on the licence
- restrictions on the movement of the animal from the premises as specified on the licence
- a requirement that the licence holder has a current insurance policy which ensures both licence holders and others against any liability caused by the animal.

As part of the application process we will arrange to visit and inspect your premises.

It is in the public interest that the council must process your application before a licence can be granted. If you have not heard from the council within a reasonable period, please contact us.
You can appeal if:

- you're refused a licence
- you're a licence holder and are unhappy with a condition attached to your licence

If you're planning to appeal, please contact the council in the first instance. Appeals must then be made to the local magistrates' court within 21 days of the licensing decision.
If a member of the public has a complaint about your licence, we always advise for that person to contact you directly, preferably in the form a letter with proof of delivery. If that has not worked, we advise the person to contact the Citizens Advice Guide, or the UK European Consumer Centre if they’re outside the UK.
More information.
Find out more information on GOV.UK:
Citizens Advice Guide
UK European Consumer Centre
Link 1
Trade associations - WAZA - World Association of Zoos and Aquariums -
Link 2
Trade associations - BIAZA - British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums -
Link 3
Trade associations - RCVS - Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons -