Loading, please wait

Exotic, dangerous and wild animals licence

  • Business

If you keep certain dangerous wild animals, you must hold a licence issued by the London Borough of Barnet.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be a person who is aged 18 years or over and must not be disqualified under the Act from keeping any dangerous wild animal. The application must specify the species (whether one or more) of animal, and the number of animals of each species, proposed to be kept under the authority of the licence and must specify the premises where any animal concerned will normally be held.

A licence will be granted if it is not contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise. The applicant for the licence must be a suitable person to hold a licence under the Act. Any licenced animal will at all times:

  • be held in accommodation which secures that the animal will not escape, which is suitable as regards construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness and which is suitable for the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation
  • be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals.

Appropriate steps will at all such times be taken for the protection of any animal concerned in case of fire or other emergency. All reasonable precautions will be taken at all such times to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases. The animal must be able to take adequate exercise.

The application must be made by the person who both owns and possesses or intends to both own and possess the animals(s) concerned.  Applications are subject to a fee.

Regulation summary

Licences are issued under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 for any animal which appears on the Schedule to the Act.

Application evaluation process

We will arrange a veterinary surgeon's inspection to ensure that the accommodation is suitable and that the eligibility criteria are met. If deemed appropriate to grant a licence, the licence will be subject to the following conditions:

(a) Conditions that, while any animal concerned is being kept only under the authority of the licence:
 (i) the animal shall be kept by no person other than such person or persons as is or are specified (whether by name or description) in the licence;
 (ii) the animal shall normally be held at such premises as are specified in the licence;
 (iii) the animal shall not be moved from those premises or shall only be moved from them in such circumstances as are specified in the licence;
 (iv) the person to whom the licence is granted shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him and any other person entitled to keep the animal under the authority of the licence against liability for any damage which may be caused by the animal; and
 (v) the terms of any such policy shall be satisfactory in the opinion of the authority;
(b) Conditions restricting the species (whether one or more) of animal, and number of animals of each species, which may be kept under the authority of the licence;
(c) A condition that the person to whom the licence is granted shall at all reasonable times make available a copy of the licence to any person entitled to keep any animal under the authority of the licence;
(d) Such other conditions as in the opinion of the authority are necessary.

The conditions of the licence may be varied or revoked or further conditions applied at any time.  Licences are valid for a period of two years from being granted.

Any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an inspector or authorised veterinary practitioner or veterinary surgeon is subject to a fine..

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.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period of 28 days.

Application Form

Failed application redress

If the licensing authority rejects the application for a licence the applicant may appeal against the decision.  Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days.

Licence holder redress

If the licensing authority attaches a condition to a licence the licence holder may appeal against that decision.  Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates court within 21 days.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.


  • Health and Safety Team
  • Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone London N20 0EJ
  • Tel: 020 8359 7995
  • FAX: 0870 889 6793
  • Email: HealthandSafety@barnet.gov.uk

Rate this page