The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976

Under this Act animals that are listed (see below) can not be kept by anyone unless they hold a licence which is granted by a local authority. A charge can be made for the licence.

This Act does NOT cover circuses, licensed pet shops, premises registered under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or zoos.

The local authority can only grant a licence if it satisfied that :

    1. There is no public safety, public nuisance or other reason why such a licence should not be given
    2. The applicant for the licence is over 18 years of age, and is a suitable person to hold the licence
    3. The animal will be kept in secure accommodation so that it cannot escape
    4. The accommodation provides the animal(s) with sufficient space for exercise, and provides suitable ventilation, temperature, lighting, drainage and is clean.
    5. There have to be satisfactory precautions in case of a fire. A local Fire Officer can be asked to inspect the premises by the local authority
    6. Adequate precautions must be taken to prevent and control infectious diseases
    7. The applicant must be the legal owner of the animal.
    8. The premises must be inspected and approved by a veterinary surgeon in writing to the local authority
    9. The licence holder must take out adequate insurance against liability for any damage caused by the animal
    10. Licences must be renewed annually


An applicant can appeal to the High Court against a refusal to grant a licence

If a dangerous wild animal listed on the Schedule is kept without a valid without a licence, or if the licence holder is found to have acted outside the terms and conditions of the licence the animal can be seized by the local authority and retained, destroyed or otherwise disposed of .


Animals Covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976


1. Mammals

a) Marsupials - Tasmanian devil, Grey Kangaroo, Red Kangaroo, Wallaroo, Euro

b) Primates - Tamarins, New World Monkeys (Capuchin, Howler,Saki, Spider, Squirrel, Titi, Uakari, Woolly and the Night Monkey), Old World Monkeys (Baboons, Drill, Colobus Monkeys, Gelada, Guenons, Langurs, Leaf Monkeys, Macaques, Mandrill, Mangebeys, Patas Monkey, Proboscis Monkey and Talapoin), Leaping Lemurs (Indri, Sifakas and Woolly lemur), Large Lemurs (except the Broad-nosed and Grey Gentle Lemurs), Anthropoid Apes (Chimpanzees, Gibbons, Gorilla, Orang-utan).

c) Edentates - Sloths, the Giant Armadillo, the Giant Anteater

d) Rodents - North American Porcupine, Capybara, Crested Porcupines

e) Carnivores - Giant Panda, Red Panda, Jacals, Wild Dogs, Wolves, Coyote. (except foxes, the raccoon-dog and domestic dogs), Bobcat, Caracal, Cheetah, Jaguar, Lion, Lynx, Ocelot, Puma, Serrval, Tiger and all other cats (except domestic cat breeds), Hyaenas (except the aardwolf), Badgers (except eurasian), Otters (except eurasian), Tyra, Wolverine, Fisher, Ratel, Cacomistles, Raccoons, Coatis, Olingos, Little Coatimundi, Kinkajou, Bears, Civets, Binturong and the Fossa.

f) Pinnipedes - The Walrus, Eared and Earless Seals, Sealions (except the common and grey seals)

g) Elephants

h) Odd-toed Ungulates - Asses, Horses and Zebras (except domesticated horses, hybrids and donkeys), Rhinoceroses, Tapirs.

i) Hyraxes - The Tree Hyrax and the Rock Hyrax

j) Aardvark

k) Even-toed Ungulates- The Pronghorn, Antelopes, Bison, Buffalo, Cattle, Gazelles, Goats, Sheep Camels, Guanaco, Vicuna, Moose, Elk, Caribou, Reindeer, Giraffe, Okapi, Hippopotamus, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Old World Pigs (Wild Boar, Wart Hog), New World Pigs (Peccaries) any hybrids of this list (except domesticated breeds).

2. Birds - Cassowaries, Emu, Ostrich.

3. Reptiles

  1. Crocodilians - Alligators, Caymans, Crocodiles, the False Gharial, the Gharial (gavial)
  2. Lizards and snakes - Mole vipers, some rear-fanged venomous snakes (the Moila, Montpellier, Sand, Twig, Mangrove, Boomslang, Red-necked Keelback, Yamakagashi snakes), some front-fanged venomous snakes (the Cobras, Coral, Desert Black, Kraits, Mambas, Sea Snakes and all Australian poisonous snakes (including death adders), Adders, Barba Amarilla, Bushmaster, Copperhead, Ferde-lance, Moccasins, Rattlesnakes and Vipers) , the Gila Monster and the Mexican Beaded Lizard.

4. Invertebrates

  1. Spiders - Wandering, The Sydney funnel-web (and relatives), Brazilian Wolf, Brown Recluse (Violin), Black Widow (Redback and relatives) spiders.
  2. Scorpions - Buthid scorpions


A copy of the original 1976 Act can be found here 

A copy of the latest version of the 1976 Act with annotations of changes can be found here


Copyright (c) 1999 - 2013 Provet. All rights reserved. Email: