Dangerous wild animals

There are certain wild animals that are considered to be dangerous and so if you want to keep such an animal, the law says you need a licence from us to do so.

This law was originally introduced in response to public concern about the keeping of dangerous pets, especially big cats. It aims to ensure that where private individuals keep dangerous wild animals they do so in circumstances which create no risk to the public and also safeguards the welfare of the animals.

You need a licence if you want to keep any animal which appears on a list decided by the Government. The current list of animals that you need a licence to keep can be downloaded here:

List of animals requiring a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence

We cannot grant a licence unless we are satisfied that:

  • It is not contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise to grant the licence.
  • The applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence under the act.
  • The animal concerned will at all times.
  • Be held in secure accommodation which is suitable in size, construction, temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness.
  • Be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding materials and be visited at suitable intervals.
  • The animal is adequately protected in the event of an emergency.
  • The prevention and control of diseases is addressed.
  • The animal is able to exercise adequately.

Apply by post

To apply for a licence by post you need to complete an application form, and send it with the appropriate fee and the documents referred to on the form to:

Licensing, Worcester City Council, Guildhall, High Street, Worcester, WR1 2EY

You can download the application form here:

Dangerous Wild Animal licence application form

The current fee to apply for a licence to keep dangerous wild animals can be found on our licensing fees and charges page.

A vet will be nominated by us to inspect the animal(s), and report back to us with his findings. He will charge us a fee for the inspection which is re-charged to the person applying for the licence.

Licences for dangerous wild animals remain in force for two years from the date of grant and then expire.

If you are aggrieved by us refusing to grant you a licence or are aggrieved by any licence condition we impose, you can appeal to a Magistrates' Court.