Tuesday 24 May 2016

Wild animals at UK homes include lions, zebras and crocodiles

23 May 2016

Wild animals including lions, tigers, crocodiles, rattlesnakes and zebras are being kept legally on private property across the UK, figures have revealed.

More than 100 councils have issued licences to people who keep undomesticated animals at home, a freedom of information request by the Press Association news agency found.

It also showed more than 300 cobras, vipers and rattlesnakes are being kept.

Animal welfare experts have expressed concern at the findings.

The FOI found:

Licences for pumas, lynxes, ocelots, lemurs, vipers, ostriches and an assortment of wild cats have been issued in Cornwall

Wolves, alligators, caiman crocodiles, black widow spiders, venomous snakes and short-clawed otters are being kept in Central Bedfordshire

Cannock Chase Council has issued licences for three tigers and two lions

Among the most popular dangerous pets are lemurs, a small primate, 115 of which are kept in domestic settings

15 wolves are registered at UK addresses

412 bison and more than 2,000 wild boar live in private fields in the UK, along with a score of zebras

Dangerous wild animals licences are required to keep animals that are considered to be wild, dangerous or exotic.

These are granted by councils, provided requisite safety measures at the owner's home are met and a fee is paid.

Licences are also issued to properties where animals may be receiving care after being rescued, or living at small private farms, where people keep wild beasts for breeding purposes.

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