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Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 & 1984 every creature classed as a dangerous wild animal in England, Scotland and Wales has to be licensed by the local authority in which it will be kept. Animals requiring a licence before they may be kept are listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 2007.

The dangerous wild animal licence does not apply to animals kept in a zoo, circus, licensed pet shop or place of scientific research.

Keeping any dangerous wild animal will require a great deal of commitment in order to ensure its well being. You should be certain that you are prepared to take on this commitment and have carried out the necessary research to ensure you are fully aware of the care and facilities which the animal requires. Some animals can grow quite large and need adequate space for exercise. You should consider whether you have the space to house the animal correctly. Consider whether you are able to afford to pay for vets’ bills, as the animal you may be proposing to keep might require treatment from a specialist vet.

How to apply

You will need to complete and return the application form to the Council by email ( or by post to The Licensing Department, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Public Services Centre, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, GL20 5TT and pay the correct fee.

Once a completed application and payment has been received, we will assess the information provided and contact applicants to arrange an inspection.


Details of the fees payable are available on our fees page. All of our fees are split into two parts. The first part of the fee is payable upon application and is non refundable. The first part of the fee covers the cost of processing your application, any inspection and follow up work. If your application is successful the second part of the fee is payable before the licence is issued. If you do pay both parts of the fee up front and your application is not successful, the part 2 fee is refundable.


Dangerous Wild Animal inspections are carried out by a representative of the Local Authority and a veterinary surgeon. The inspectors will wish to ensure that the accommodation for the animal(s) is suitable with regard to:

  • the construction and size of the quarters
  • temperature and lighting
  • ventilation
  • drainage and cleanliness
  • the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation
  • appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of any animal in case of fire or other emergency
  • appropriate steps will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases.

They will also ask you questions to ensure that you have adequate knowledge of the species to provide suitable care and a suitable environment for the animal.


You will be asked to provide proof of suitable insurance cover, as well as documented risk assessments which detail how the animal can be fed safely, how the enclosure will be cleaned safely and how the animal can be handled should it require medical attention.

Issuing your licence

Once inspected and upon completion of any required remedial works, we aim to issue your licence with 10 working days.

Length of licence

A licence lasts for 2 years. Applications for renewal should be made 6 weeks prior to the expiry date of the licence.

Public Register

There are currently no active dangerous wild animals’ licences within the Borough.