Dangerous Wild Animal

A licence is required if you wish to keep and house a dangerous wild animal.

A dangerous wild animal is defined by statute.

Completing your application

How to apply

Applicants must complete the application form and send it, along with the correct fee, to the Environmental Health Section. 

Download the application form

An application must be:

  • in writing
  • signed by the applicant


The application fee of £385.40 must be submitted with your application.

When you send us your application, please send a cheque for the fee made payable to Argyll and Bute Council to the address below.

Contact us

You can contact us using our online enquiry form

By post at:

Argyll and Bute Council
Regulatory Services
PA31 8RT

Or phone: 01546 605519

Eligibility Criteria

Any person over the age of 18 may apply for a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence. We are prohibited from granting a licence unless we are satisfied that: 

a)    it is not contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance  or otherwise to grant the licence;    

b)    the applicant for the licence is a suitable person to hold a licence under the Act;

c)    any animal concerned will at all times of its being kept, only under the authority of the licence-  

                      i.        be held in secure accommodation to ensure the animal will not escape, which is suitable as regards construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and  cleanliness and which is suitable for the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation; and

                     ii.        be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable times.  

d)    appropriate steps will at all such times be taken for the protection of any animal concerned in case of fire or other emergency;

e)    all reasonable precautions will be taken at all such times to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases;  

f)     while any animal concerned is at the premises where it will normally be held, its accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise.

A licence will not be issued where the applicant has been disqualified or convicted of an offence under:

A licence for a dangerous wild animal does not need to be applied for where the dangerous wild animal is kept in:

      i.        a zoo, for which a licence is in force (or is not for the time being required) under that Act;

     ii.        a circus;

    iii.        premises licensed as a pet shop

   iv.        a place which is a designated establishment within the meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986

The Application Process

How the application is dealt with
On receipt of the complete application, we will appoint a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner to inspect the premises where the animal will normally be held. They will then report back to us and give their professional opinion whether the premises are suitable for any animal proposed to be kept under the authority of the licence, and describe the condition of the premises and of any animal or other thing found there. We are permitted to seek payment for the reasonable costs of the inspection from the applicant.  

Environmental Health will consider, process and determine the application.

How long does it take to get a licence?

Applications have to be reviewed against a report from a veterinary surgeon and accordingly, the time to grant each license will therefore vary.

Is my application granted automatically?
No it is in the public interest that the council processes your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period please contact us.

What conditions apply?
Each licence issued is subject to standard conditions that are imposed on all Dangerous Wild Animal Licences issued however a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your particular activity.

How long does the licence last?
A new licence or renewal of a licence will be granted for a period of one year. It is recommended that you make a renewal application 3 months before your current licence is to expire so that the licence does not lapse.

Is the licence transferable?
No, Dangerous Wild Animal licences are not transferable. 

Objections and Appeals

If your application is refused you can contact us to request a statement of the reasons for our decision.
You have a right of appeal to the Sheriff Court.

Appeals against the refusal of an application must be made to the Sheriff Principal of North Strathclyde, Paisley Sheriff Court, St James Street, Paisley, PA3 2AW.

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