You can read a full list of animals you need a licence for here.

You do not need a licence to keep a wild bird if it was taken or killed legally. But you do need to be able to prove that you own it legally. You can find out more about keeping birds on the GOV.UK website.

You should think carefully before buying any pet. This is especially true when it comes to wild birds or animals. Exotic pets have the same needs that they would do in the wild. This means caring for them properly can be difficult and expensive.

The Dangerous Wild Animals Act

The Dangerous Wild Animals Act passed in 1976. It aims to make sure that where people keep wild or exotic animals as pets, they create no risk to the public and keep the animal itself safe and healthy.

The type of licence you will need depends on what kind of animal you want and what you are going to do with it. You must apply for a licence to:

  • keep a dangerous wild animal
  • keep destructive imported animals
  • keep a living or dead animal that’s not covered by another licence or intended for a purpose that is not science or education

Licence fees vary in cost depending on your situation and your local council. If you do need a licence, you should apply to your local council.

Before buying an exotic pet

If you’re thinking about buying an exotic pet, there are some things you should think about. You should try to find out as much as you can about the animal’s needs and if they are a realistic pet. Many exotic pets will need the right environment.