REVEALED: The dangerous animals being kept in the Portsmouth area

Rattlesnakes are among the animals kept in Havant which require a dangerous animal licence. Stock picture.
Rattlesnakes are among the animals kept in Havant which require a dangerous animal licence. Stock picture.
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ALLIGATORS, rattlesnakes and bearded lizards make Havant home to the highest number of dangerous animals in the area with three licences currently held for 32 exotic creatures.

Data obtained through a freedom of information request has shown that the borough is home to a whole host of unusual pets including Chinese alligators, a West African dwarf crocodile, ring-tailed lemurs and rattlesnakes.

The licences were issued by Havant Borough Council and and the FOI results specifically do not include zoos and wildlife parks.

Fareham and Gosport councils currently have no dangerous animal licences on their books. Portsmouth City Council has two - both for snakes.

David Fitzgerald, environmental protection manager at Havant council, said: 'A licence is required when anyone chooses to keep an animal that is classed as dangerous.

'This is to ensure the owner takes reasonable steps to prevent the animal from being a threat to the public.  It also allows us to safeguard the welfare of the animals ensuring they are kept in suitable accommodation and are looked after appropriately.'

Each licence from Havant Borough Council costs £96 and is valid for two years.  However, the council is unable to make a profit from issuing these licences.

Before a licence can be issued an inspection of the property is carried out, which require the support of specialist vets to ensure the animal is being kept in appropriate living conditions.  Renewal of a licence would trigger further inspections.

Mr Fitzgerald added: 'Anyone found keeping a dangerous animal without a licence could be fined up to £5,000.

'If you suspect someone has a dangerous animal without a licence, please report it to our environmental health team.  Failure to comply with the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 could also result in a £5,000 fine.'

Since January 1, 2017 no dangerous animal licences have been revoked by any of the councils mentioned.

Do you own one of these animals? Get in touch with our reporter Fiona Callingham by emailing fiona.callingham@jpimedia.co.uk or calling 02392 622131.

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Full list of animals requiring a dangerous animal licence in Havant:

Four Chinese alligators

Two ring-tailed lemurs

One West African dwarf crocodile

Two bearded lizards

Two Suphan cobras

Two Uracoan rattlesnakes

13 venomous reptiles

Six western diamondback rattlesnakes