If you are thinking of finally opening your home to an animal but have yet to decide on which kind it is important to make sure you don’t end up settling on one that could be illegal.
From breeds of dogs to larger animals, there are strict laws about the ownership of pets in the UK.
It is illegal to own some animals without a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
So before you pick your next pet make sure you are aware of the rules.
Here are some of the animals it is illegal to own in the UK:
Banned dog breeds
There are four breeds of dogs which are banned under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.
They are as follows:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
It is illegal to own a tiger without a proper license under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
You need a license to own a Tasmanian Devil under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
A license is also needed to own animals from the Macropodidae family – which includes: The western and eastern grey kangaroos, the wallaroo and the red kangaroo.
It is illegal to own the following monkeys without a license:
- New-world monkeys (including capuchin, howler, saki, uacari, spider and woolly monkeys).
- Night monkeys (also known as owl monkeys), titi monkeys and squirrel monkeys are excepted.
- Old-world monkeys (including baboons, the drill, colobus monkeys, the gelada, guenons, langurs, leaf monkeys, macaques, the mandrill, mangabeys, the patas and proboscis monkeys and the talapoin).
Apes, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans
The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 makes it illegal to own animals from the Hominidae family without a proper license.
These include: Anthropoid apes; chimpanzees, bonobos, orang-utans and gorillas.
It is also illegal to own Gibbons and Siamangs.
You can’t own the following types of lemurs without a proper license:
- Leaping lemurs (including the indri and sifakas)
- Large lemurs – Bamboo or gentle lemurs are excepted
Wild dogs, wolves and similar
It is illegal to own animals from the Canidae without a license including the following:
- Wild dogs, wolves, jackals, the maned wolf, the bush dog and the dhole.
- Foxes, raccoon dogs and the domestic dog (but not the dingo) are excepted.
While house cats are perfectly legal to own, the larger relations in the felidae family require a license, including:
- All cats including the bobcat, caracal, cheetah, jaguar, leopard, lion, lynx, ocelot, puma, serval and tiger.
The following are excepted:
- the wild cat, the pallas cat, the little spotted cat, the Geoffroy’s cat, the kodkod, the bay cat, the sand cat, the black-footed cat, the rusty-spotted cat and the domestic cat;
- a hybrid cat which is descended exclusively from any one or more species within paragraph (a);
- a hybrid cat having as one parent a domestic cat and as the other parent a first generation hybrid of a domestic cat and any cat not within paragraph (a);
- any cat which is descended exclusively from any one or more hybrids within paragraph (c);
- any cat which is descended exclusively from a domestic cat and any one or more hybrids within paragraph (c).
It is illegal to own Hyenas without a license except for the aardwolf
It is illegal to own the following badgers and other animals from the Mustelidae family without a license:
- badgers (except the Eurasian badger)
- otters (except the European otter)
- tayra badger
- fisher badger and ratel (otherwise known as the honey badger)
It is illegal to own any bear without a license including the giant panda and the red panda.
It is illegal to own a giraffe without a license.
Alligators and crocodiles
It is also illegal to own alligators or crocodiles without a license.
Certain spider breeds
It is illegal to own the following spiders without a license:
- Wandering spiders
- The Sydney funnel-web spider and its close relatives
- Brown recluse spiders (otherwise known as violin spiders)
- The widow spiders and close relatives