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Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 185444, tabled on 21 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of reviewing the Dangerous Wild Animals Act and its Schedule; and if he will bring forward proposals to reform the regulatory framework for the trade in and keeping of wild animals as pets in the UK.

Answered on

26 April 2021

The schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 was last updated in 2007, following review and consultation. The Act itself was updated in 2010, following further review and consultation, to allow local authorities to focus their enforcement activity more effectively. The Act’s original aim was to ensure that where private individuals keep dangerous wild animals they do so in circumstances which create no risk to the public. Based on available evidence, including the absence of reported attacks on the public by escaped dangerous wild animals, we consider that the Act is fulfilling those objectives.

However, while there are appropriate public safety measures in place for the keeping of dangerous wild animals, the Government wants to look more closely at the wider animal welfare law to see whether it needs to be improved in relation to the welfare of exotic, non-domesticated animals traded and kept as pets. Defra has already begun this process with a call for evidence and a public consultation to help inform the approach to delivering the Government’s manifesto commitment to ban the keeping of primates as pets.

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