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You will need a licence if you want to keep a dangerous wild animal.

To apply for a dangerous wild animal licence, you need to:

  • be over 18
  • tell us your name, address and contact details
  • provide information about:
    • where you will keep the animal
    • the species of animal you want to keep, including its scientific name
    • how many animals you want to keep
    • the accommodation for the animal   
    • the food the animal will need and where you will get it from
    • your insurance policy, including the company name and your policy number         
  • agree to comply with all objectives and conditions stated on the application form
  • pay the fee of £329.20

Once we receive your application, we will:

  • decide if we need a veterinary inspection of your premises as part of the application process. If we need this inspection, you will have to pay for it
  • issue our decision within three months of receiving your application and payment
  • add your licence details to the dangerous wild animals public register        

If we do not grant you a licence, we will not refund your fee.

Renew your licence

Your licence is valid from 1 January to 31 December, regardless of when we grant it. You need to renew your licence every year, before the current licence expires.

Appeal our decision

If you disagree with our decision about your animal licence or a condition attached to the licence, you can appeal.

However, before you appeal you need to contact us so that we can explain why we made that decision. 

You need to appeal within six months of receiving our decision.

You need to appeal in writing to:

Chelmsford Magistrates' Court and Family Court Hearing Centre
Court Administration Centre
PO Box 10754
Chelmsford
Essex
CM1 9PZ

When you appeal, you need to give details of the licence, and why you disagree with our decision.

Your licence is valid from the date we grant it. When we grant your licence, we will tell you how long it is valid for. This could be between one and three years, depending on the risk rating we give you.

We will write to you three months before your licence expires, to remind you to renew it.

You need to submit your renewal application at least ten weeks before it is due to expire.

To renew your licence, you will need to:

  • contact us
  • pay the renewal application fee of £162

You can pay the renewal application fee by:

  • calling our Business Support team on 01245 606662
  • sending us a cheque (payable to Chelmsford City Council)

The application fee is the first of two fees you will need to pay before we renew your licence. The second is the grant fee. The total fee to renew your licence is £203.

When you contact us to renew your licence, we will arrange an inspection.

After the inspection, we will tell you our decision including whether we are going to grant your licence and what your rating is.

We will carry out the inspection and tell you our decision within ten weeks of receiving your application.

If we grant your licence, you will need to pay the grant fee of £41.

If we grant your licence, we will give you a rating based on your standard.

The rating will be between one and five, with five being the best you can receive.

When we give you your rating, we will tell you:

  • why we have given you that rating
  • what you would need to do to receive a higher one when you renew your licence

If you want to achieve a higher rating before your licence renewal, you can take the actions we suggest then request a new rating.

If we gave you five, you can't request a new rating at this is the best you can receive.

To request a new rating, you will need to:

  • contact us in writing
  • pay the £109 fee

You can pay this fee by:

  • calling our Business Support team on 01245 606662
  • sending us a cheque (payable to Chelmsford City Council)

When you contact us to renew your licence, we will arrange an inspection.

After the inspection, we will tell you our decision about your rating.

We will carry out the inspection and tell you our decision within three months of receiving your request.

If you receive a new rating, your licence will not change. It will still be valid from the date we granted it, and not from the date you receive your new rating.

If you do not agree with your rating, you can appeal.

To appeal your rating, you will need to contact us in writing within 21 days of us granting your licence.

We will then consider your appeal and make a decision within 21 days of receiving it.

If you disagree with our appeal decision, you can challenge it through a judicial review.

If you board animals without a licence or don't follow the conditions of your licence, you could receive a:

  • fine
  • prison sentence of up to six months
  • fine and a prison sentence

You can also view a list of existing licensed premises on our animal boarding register.

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Last updated: 29 November 2022