A list of which creatures are kept at addresses in Cornwall under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act was provided following a Freedom of Information request. The council declined to indicate where in Cornwall the licences are registered saying that it could endanger the safety of people who look after the animals and the animals themselves.
The list does not include animals which are in zoos or wildlife parks which have their own zoo licences which allow them to be open to the public. A licence is required for animals which are considered to be wild, dangerous or exotic.
Animals which do require a licence include primates, wild cats, wild dogs (such as wolves), wild pigs (such as boars), some birds, some reptiles and marsupials.
Currently in Cornwall there are:
- Lynx – 4
- Puma – 2
- Caracal – 2
- Ocelot – 2
- Ruffed lemur – 13
- Ringtail lemur – 15
- Collared brown lemur – 2
- Serval – 4
- Asian otter – 4
- Fishing cat – 2
- Camel – 4
- Ostrich 4
To apply for a dangerous wild animal licence applicants have to provide a report from a veterinary surgeon or practitioner who has been authorised by the council to carry out an inspection of the premises where the animal will be held.
The council has to be satisfied that granting a licence “would not be contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety, nuisance or otherwise”; that the applicant is a suitable person to hold the licence and is adequately insured; and that “the animals will be held in secure accommodation to prevent them from escaping”.
It also has to be shown that the animals are provided with adequate food, drink and bedding and will be visited at suitable intervals; and that the animals can take adequate exercise. Additionally applicants have to be able to show that appropriate steps will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases.
If a licence is issued by the council it will remain in place for two years after which a renewal will be required. It currently costs £505 to get a dangerous wild animals licence from Cornwall Council.