Ellie Ames 23 February 2024

2,700 dangerous animals kept as pets

2,700 dangerous animals kept as pets image
Image: Born Free

Lions, tigers and venomous snakes are among the 2,700 wild animals kept at private addresses across the UK, wildlife charity Born Free has revealed.

These animals are classified as ‘dangerous’ and kept as pets under licences issued by 126 councils under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

Born Free said it found that some councils are unaware of the exact species of animal being kept, despite a legal requirement to identify this.

Keeping wild animals in captivity causes them to suffer and presents a ‘very real risk’ to public safety, the charity warned.

It also raised concerns about the potential transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans.

Born Free’s head of policy, Dr Mark Jones, said current legislation on keeping exotic pets is ‘woefully outdated’.

He said: ‘The Dangerous Wild Animals Act should be overhauled as a matter of urgency, in order to phase out the private keeping of those species that clearly don’t belong in people’s homes.’

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