Dangerous wild animals licence

You must have a licence if you wish to keep a dangerous wild animal.

It is an offence to keep any animal listed in the Schedule of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) (No2) Order 2007 without a dangerous wild animal licence with the exemption of zoos, circuses, pet shops or certain other exemptions.

About this licence

This licence comes under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

We have a duty to determine that an applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence to keep a dangerous wild animal.

To apply for a licence you must be age 18 or over and you must not be disqualified under certain other statutes from keeping or having custody of animals as listed on the GOV.UK website.

Licence Fee 2024/25
Grant/renewal 2 year £607 plus vet fees

Additional fees

Licence Fee
Change of business name £21
Transfer £54
Variation £253 plus £236 if committee hearing required
Copy of licence £21
Application and guidance notes

You will need to complete the following application form and return it with the relevant fee to the Licensing Section, Herefordshire Council, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE or email Please read the conditions carefully:

Application and conditions

Animal activities licensing policy

Processing and timescales

When we receive your completed application and fee we will liaise with a suitably qualified vet, appointed by Herefordshire Council, to arrange an inspection. This would normally be within 28 days.

We will then notify you of the inspection date and time. A member of the licensing team may also be present. Inspection times can vary.

The vet's report will determine whether or not you will be granted a licence.

You will normally be informed of the outcome of the inspection in writing within 14 days.

A licence applies only to the premises named on the licence and to the licence holder. Once you have been granted a licence to keep a dangerous wild animal it will remain your responsibility to tell the licensing section of the death or other disposal of that animal.

We may refuse or withhold a licence on other grounds if the conditions are not suitable for any animals involved in your application.

Validity and renewals

A dangerous wild animal licence can be granted at any time during the year and will last for two years. A veterinary inspection of the premises may be required before a renewed licence can be issued.

You can submit a licence renewal application between two months and four weeks before the licence expiry.

Changes to a licence

You should contact the licensing section to discuss any proposed changes to the licensable activity, including any changes to:

  • The licence holder
  • The layout of the premises
  • The number or types of animals used under the terms of the licence
  • The address where the animals are normally kept
  • The death or disposal of any animal

Please see the licence variation fee listed in the 'Fees' section. Please also note, a veterinary inspection may need to be carried out to ensure any variations comply with all the conditions required for the licence.

Death of a licence holder

In the event of the death of a licence holder, the licence may pass to their personal representative, provided that they tell us within 28 days of the death that they are now the operators of the licensable activity.

The licence will remain in place for 28 days from the death of the formal licence holder after which time the licence will expire, unless the new licence holder submits an application for a new licence within the 28 days.

Contact us in the first instance.
Contact details

Please contact us by email or telephone. All calls are dealt with by our contact centre staff and are allocated to an officer who will take action on the service request within one to ten working days.

Our telephone operating hours are 9am - 4.15pm.