Dangerous Wild Animals Licence

Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
This Act is to regulate the keeping of certain kinds of dangerous animals, not including those kept in a zoo, circus, pet shop, or registered for the purpose of experiments. The assumption of possession continues even if the animal escapes or is being transported. Premises must be inspected by a vet before a licence can be granted, and the Council must decide that it would not be contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise to issue a licence.
Specific conditions apply to the licensing of dangerous animals, including:

  • Requirements that they will not be moved from the licensed premises (unless allowed for in the licence).
  • The licence holder must be insured against liability.
  • Restrictions on the species and number of animals to be kept.

If a dangerous wild animal is being kept without the authority of a licence or in contravention of a licence condition, the local authority may seize the animal and retain it, destroy it or otherwise dispose of it.

Winchester City Council is responsible for licensing establishments, shops or individuals that are involved in activities concerning animals. Licences run for 2 years from the date of issue. The licence charges are listed below.

Winchester City Council must impose any conditions on the licence that it considers to be necessary, such as:

  • Animals will be kept in accommodation that is suitable regarding size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, and cleanliness.
  • Animals will be supplied with adequate food, drink, and bedding material.
  • Animals will be adequately exercised and visited regularly.
  • Precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infectious or contagious diseases.
  • Appropriate steps will be taken in case of fire or other emergency


For 2016/17 the cost is:

£56 plus full cost of vets inspection. You will be invoiced for the full amount after your veterinary inspection has taken place.

Refusal of licence
Licences may be refused, cancelled or revoked for several reasons (please note that not all the restrictions are relevant to all licenses). The courts may disqualify applicants from holding an animal licence for a set period of time:

  • If the applicant is under 18.
  • If the applicant has been disqualified from holding an animal licence or keeping an animal.
  • If conditions of the licence are not met .

Additionally, veterinary surgeons and practitioners, local authority officers, or competent persons authorised by the local authority may inspect licensed premises and any animals found there at any reasonable time. Unlicensed premises may be inspected by applying for a warrant.

You can apply online; Dangerous Wild Animals Act Application e-Form

Alternatively, you can download the application form below and Email it to eh@winchester.gov.uk