Pets

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th March 2021.

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Photo of Lord Black of Brentwood Lord Black of Brentwood Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the law relating to keeping dangerous animals as pets.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Anyone wishing to keep a dangerous wild animal as a pet requires a licence from their local authority under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. A local authority must only grant a licence if is satisfied that it would not be contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety or nuisance; that the applicant is a suitable person; and the animal's accommodation is adequate and secure. The Act was updated in 2007, following review and consultation. The Act was updated again in 2010 to allow local authorities to focus their enforcement activity more effectively. The Act’s original aim was to ensure that where private individuals keep dangerous wild animals they do so in circumstances which create no risk to the public. Based on available evidence, including the absence of reported attacks on the public by escaped dangerous wild animals, we consider that the Act is fulfilling those objectives. Separately, any evidence that the welfare needs of kept dangerous wild animals are not being met would be a matter for the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and its associated obligations and requirements, which we keep under constant review.

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