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Mail :
Animal Health Team
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Phone :
01752 304147
Email :
Fax :
01752 226314


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Exotic, dangerous and wild animals licence

A licence is required if you keep wild animals that are listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 1984.

A licence will not be issued to anyone who has previously been disqualified or convicted of an offence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

After you have submitted an application we will arrange for an authorised officer to inspect your premises, review the storage, its facilities and management arrangements to ensure they comply with our standard licence conditions.


Download and complete the exotic and wild animals application form [PDF,


  • £339

The applicant will also be required to pay the cost of inspections carried out by the Council's authorised veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner. Except in exceptional circumstances, the person making the application must be the person who owns and possesses or proposes to own and possess the animal to which the application applies.


Once we have received the completed application and associated supporting documents (if required) the target completion time is 21 days.

Where a licence is granted that licence and any subsequent licence will expire after 24 months on the 31 December of the following year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before that date if the licence holder is to continue to keep the animal(s) named on the licence.

Council's duties

Before granting a licence the licensing inspector must be satisfied that:

  • it is not contrary to the public interest to do so on the grounds of safety, nuisance or other grounds
  • the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence to keep the animals listed on the application
  • the animal(s) will be kept in accommodation that prevents its escape and is suitable in respect of construction, size, temperature, drainage and cleanliness
  • that the animal(s) will be supplied with adequate and suitable food drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals
  • appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the protection of the animal(s) in case of fire or other emergency
  • all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases
  • the animal(s) accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise
  • where the Council issues a licence, that licence will be subject to such conditions as the Council sees fit and in each case these conditions will specify that:
    • only the person named on the licence shall be entitled to keep the animal.
    • the animal shall only be kept on the premises named on the licence.
    • the animal shall not be moved or may only be moved in accordance with conditions specified in the licence.
    • the licensee must hold a current insurance policy, approved by the Council, 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 shall 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.
  • the Council may at any time revoke or amend any licence condition apart from those covered by 1 to 6 above.

Your rights of appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which the licence is subject, may appeal to the Magistrates Court and the Courts may give such direction regarding the licence and its conditions as it thinks proper.

Offences and penalties

Anybody found guilty of keeping an animal covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 without a licence to do so or anybody found guilty of failing to comply with any licence condition shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000.

Any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an inspector or authorised veterinary practitioner or veterinary surgeon shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000.

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.

Where the Council incurs any expense in seizing, retaining or disposing of an animal then the person who was the keeper of the animal shall be liable for those costs.

Copies of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and other legislation mentioned in this information sheet can be purchased from the Office of Public Sector Information website.

A copy of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 can be inspected at the Council offices where you may also obtain an application form and further help or advice.

Payment for this licence can be received by cheque in the post or by credit/debit card over the telephone, please contact 01752 304147 and have your card details ready.

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