Dangerous wild animals: species guidance

Individual species guidance on the keeping of dangerous wild animals.

Explanatory notes

These notes have been produced to provide people wishing to keep dangerous wild animals with guidance on the needs of the species considered and the requirements they may have to meet.

In determining whether or not a licence should be issued, the local authority will consider the information provided by the applicant when applying for a licence. The local authority will also arrange for a suitably qualified person to carry out an inspection of the premises at which the animal or animals will be kept and the inspector’s report will also be taken into consideration. It is at the authority’s discretion to waive certain recommendations, or add additional ones, to the guidance provided in this document. 

There is a right to appeal if a licence is refused or if the applicant contests conditions applied to a licence.

The Schedule

The Schedule to the Act lists the dangerous wild animals subject to control. One column is the scientific classification and the other column gives the common names of the animal. In the event of any inconsistency between the two, or of any proceedings, only the scientific classification is to be taken into account. If a local authority is in any doubt about what is included within a particular species, they should refer to International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Mammal hybrids

In addition to family, genera and species listings in the Schedule there is also a specific entry for mammal hybrids (other than cat hybrids). Any hybrid of a mammal specified in the Schedule where at least one parent is of a kind so specified requires a licence e.g. the pups of a wolf and domestic dog require a licence.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Some species which appear in the Schedule are also covered by the requirements of CITES. The import, export and use for commercial gain of these species requires a CITES licence. Licences must be obtained to buy, sell, breed or use such species for any commercial purpose. 





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