1. Table of contents

Licence summary

Anyone who wishes to keep and house a dangerous wild animal will need a licence from their local authority under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (1976 Act). The number of animals along with the type that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.

Falkirk Council may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.

A licence will be issued for one year starting from the date the licence is granted by the authority.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be over the age of 18 years of age. The 1976 Act prohibits Falkirk Council from granting a licence unless it is it satisfied that:

  1. it is not contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise to grant the licence
  2. the applicant for the licence is a suitable person to hold a licence under this Act
  3. any animal concerned will at all times of its being kept only under the authority of the licence
    1. be held in accommodation which secures that 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
    2. (be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals
  4. appropriate steps will at all such times be taken for the protection of any animal concerned in case of fire or other emergency
  5. all reasonable precautions will be taken at all such times to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases
  6. while any animal concerned is at the premises where it will normally be held, its accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise

Regulation summary

Application evaluation process

A non-refundable fee will be payable for applications and if the licence is granted, conditions may be attached.

Fee type Cost
Dangerous Wild Animals Licence £128.50 plus Vet's fee

The following criteria will be considered when the application is being evaluated.

  1. Conditions that, while any animal concerned is being kept only under the authority of the licence.
    1. The animal shall be kept by no person other than such person or persons as is or are specified (whether by name or description) in the licence.
    2. The animal shall normally be held at such premises as are specified in the licence.
    3. (The animal shall not be moved from those premises or shall only be moved from them in such circumstances as are specified in the licence.
    4. The person to whom the licence is granted shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him and any other person entitled to keep the animal under the authority of the licence against liability for any damage which may be caused by the animal.
    5. The terms of any such policy shall be satisfactory in the opinion of the authority.
  2. Conditions restricting the species (whether one or more) of animal, and number of animals of each species, which may be kept under the authority of the licence.
  3. A condition that the person to whom the licence is granted shall at all reasonable times make available a copy of the licence to any person entitled to keep any animal under the authority of the licence.
  4. Such other conditions as in the opinion of the authority are necessary or desirable for the purpose of securing the objects specified in paragraphs (c) to (f) of subsection (3) of this section. The period of validity of a licence for dangerous wild animals is a maximum of two calendar years.


The provisions of this Act shall not apply to any dangerous wild animal kept in:

  • a zoo within the meaning of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 for which a licence is in force (or is not for the time being required) under that Act
  • a circus
  • premises licensed as a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • a place which is a designated establishment within the meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that Falkirk Council must process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us.

How to apply

To apply, change or renew a dangerous wild animal licence you can complete the form below and send it to Falkirk Council by email or post:

Apply to obtain or renew a dangerous wild animal licence

Failed application and licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

If you wish to appeal against a decision of a local authority in Scotland you may do so to the local sheriff. Appeals must be made within 21 days of the date you received notification of the decision in writing.

Consumer complaint

If you have a complaint, please contact the trader first, preferably in writing. If you do this by letter, make sure you get proof of delivery.

If you've done this and feel your complaint still hasn’t been resolved, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.

But if you do not live in the UK, you’ll need to contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other redress

For example; complaints about noise, pollution, etc should be directed to Environmental Health:

Environmental Health
Falkirk Stadium
4 Stadium Way

Anybody found guilty of keeping an animal covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 without a licence to do so or anybody found guilty of failing to comply with any licence condition shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000.

Any person found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector or Authorised Veterinary Practitioner or Veterinary Surgeon shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,000.

Where a person keeps an animal without a licence or where a person fails to comply with a licence condition, officers from Falkirk Council 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.

Where Falkirk Council incurs any expense in seizing, retaining or disposing of an animal then the person who was the keeper of the animal shall be liable for those costs.