Dangerous wild animal licences

A licence is required for anybody wishing to keep a dangerous wild animal, as prescribed by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. The only time a dangerous wild animal licence is not required is if the animal is kept in a zoo, circus or pet shop.

View a list of wild animals considered to be dangerous

The licence requires the owner to keep the animal in suitable and safe conditions, for the welfare of the animal and protection of the public.

Premises must be inspected by a veterinary officer before a licence can be granted.

Licences can be refused or issued subject to specific conditions, including:

  • requirements that they will not be moved from the licensed premises (unless allowed for in the licence)
  • the licence holder must be insured against liability
  • restrictions on the species and number of animals to be kept.

If a dangerous wild animal is being kept without a licence or in contravention of a licence condition, we may seize the animal and retain it, destroy it or otherwise dispose of it.