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Exotic, Dangerous and Wild Animals

The keeping of certain species of wild animals is controlled by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

If you plan on keeping any animals considered to be wild, dangerous or exotic in the New Forest you must first obtain a licence. The animals for which a licence is required are listed in the The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) (No.2) Order 2007 and includes wild cats, primates, wild dogs (e.g. wolves), certain pigs (e.g. wild boar) and marsupials.

You can apply online or complete a pdf adobe icon application form [37kb].

The cost of a licence is detailed in the Environmental Health Fees and Charges 2019/2020. The applicant will also be required to pay the cost of inspections carried out by the Council's authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner.and a licence may be issued providing the applicant is not disqualified or has been convicted under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. Licences expire on December 31st and must be renewed each year.

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.

Before granting a licence we 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 we issue a licence, the licence will be subject to conditions such as:

  • 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.

Where a person keeps an animal without a licence or where a person fails to comply with a licence condition, we 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.

Updated: 15 Oct 2018
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