If you want to keep a dangerous wild animal, you must apply for a licence before buying the animal.

This does not apply to circuses, zoos or pet shops.


The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 regulates the keeping of dangerous wild animals.

Animals mentioned in the act include:

  • wild boar
  • emu
  • ostrich
  • venomous snakes
  • capuchin monkeys

Check the list of dangerous animals if you are not sure if you need a licence.

Apply for a licence

Complete the application form and return to us with the licence fee of £525. As well as the licence fee, you will also incur additional vets fees to pay.

The application process

We will check that:

  • you are a suitable owner
  • the location of the accommodation meets the required standards
  • the care for the animal meets the required standards
  • there is no safety risk

If granted, the licence will need a renewal after two years. 

Tacit consent

Tacit consent doesn't apply to this licence. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from your local council within a reasonable period, please contact them.

Refused applications

Please contact your local council in the first instance. Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates court.

Customer Services - Dorset Council

Email: customerservices@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details