Any person wanting to keep a dangerous wild animal in Preston must obtain a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence (DWA Licence) from us.

The animals requiring a licence before they may be kept are listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 2007.

What are the dangerous wild animal 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 general public
  • safeguard the welfare of the animals

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

The applicant

Any applicant for a dangerous wild animal licence 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 be disqualified under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 from keeping any dangerous wild animal

Applying for a licence

If you wish to apply for a licence you should complete the Icon for pdf dangerous wild animal licence application form [104.48KB] and return it with the fee below to:

Licensing Services, Environmental Health Department, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 2RL.

How much is a dangerous wild animal licence

A fee of £284 will be payable on application.

You will also be required to pay the vets fee.  This will vary according to the time the vet takes to undertake the inspection.

Once licensed you will be required to keep the animal according to the conditions laid down in the licence.

Unlicensed dangerous wild animals

If a Dangerous Wild Animal is being kept without a licence or in contravention of a licence condition, we may seize the animal and retain it, destroy it or otherwise dispose of it.

We are not liable to pay compensation and, where we incur any expense in seizing, retaining or disposing of an animal then the person who was the keeper of the animal will have to pay costs.

Considerations for applicants

Before you apply for a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence we advise you to consider the following:

  • Keeping any animal listed in the Schedule will require a great deal of commitment. In order to ensure its wellbeing you should be certain that you have carried out the necessary research so you are fully aware of the care and facilities the type of animal requires
  • Some animals can grow quite large and you should consider if you have the space and adequate facilities to house the animal correctly. If you don't, substantial investment may be needed to provide them and that might require planning permission
  • A condition of a Dangerous Wild Animal licence is that adequate insurance cover is provided. Please take this into account in determining whether or not you can afford to keep an animal listed
  • Vets bills can be expensive and the animal you may be proposing to keep might require treatment from a specialist veterinary practitioner which may be more expensive
  • Whether you should discuss with your immediate neighbours about having an animal which requires a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence at your premises. If you do need to apply for planning permission their comments and concerns will be taken into account
  • A specialist supplier may be needed for the type of food required for the animal you intend to keep
  • Some animals, e.g. big cats will produce waste products which are difficult to dispose of. You should check with your waste collector about the necessary arrangements, and the cost
  • All feed kept on site must be stored in suitable vermin proof containers, and all waste food must be removed regularly so as not to attract vermin. You may wish to seek advice from an appropriate pest control contractor in relation to adequate means of vermin control/proofing