Research has found over 100 licences have been issued for dangerous wild animals including lions, wolves and alligators
Councils have issued licences to allow dangerous wild animals to live on private property research by the Press Association has found.
The List includes
Big cats including 13 tigers, two lions, eight leopards, seven cheetahs and nine pumas.
300 killer cobras, vipers and rattlesnakes
10 alligators, nine crocodiles and 17 caimans
Black widow spiders, venomous snakes and short-clawed otters
412 bison and more than 2,000 wild boar living in private fields, along with zebras
The RSPCA said it was concerned that licences too often focus on protecting the public from harm, rather than on the wellbeing of the animals.
A spokeswoman said: “We are deeply concerned about the number of exotic animals, including dangerous wild animals, now being kept as pets. People may buy them with little idea of how difficult they can be to keep and the animals are sometimes neglected when the novelty wears off and the commitment hits home. This is why we would encourage anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re a realistic pet.”
She added: “Licences for exotic animals classed as dangerous wild animals – such as cobras, ostriches and caiman crocodiles – are granted by local authorities and the details are also held locally. There is no centrally-held list to determine how many are kept across the country. The emphasis of this legislation is on making sure the owner takes reasonable steps to prevent the animal from being a threat to the public, rather than the welfare of the animals concerned.”