MULTIPLE dangerous wild animals are privately kept by people in Warrington, new figures show.

Figures obtained by Wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation from Freedom of Information Act requests reveal there are three mammals covered by dangerous wild animal licences in Warrington.

The licences are for two serval cats and a hybrid savannah cat.

The charity said improved regulation is needed, after its research found thousands of wild animals are owned privately across Great Britain.

Chris Lewis, Born Free's captivity research officer said: "The Dangerous Wild Animals Act was intended to make the keeping of such animals categorised as 'dangerous' a wholly exceptional circumstance.

"However, Born Free’s ongoing research paints a very different picture."

He added regulations on the keeping and trading of wild animals kept as pets are "in urgent need of review".

Across Great Britain, the charity found more than 2,700 dangerous wild animals were licenced to be owned privately, including in excess of 200 wild cats and 250 primates.

It estimates there are also 400 venomous snakes ‘kept in British homes’ – more than 10 times the number in zoos.

In the north west, Cheshire West and Chester is home to the only scorpions being kept under this type of licence in Britain.

Mr Lewis added regulations on the keeping and trading of wild animals kept as pets are ‘in urgent need of review’.

A spokesman for Warrington Borough Council said: “If you wish to keep a dangerous wild animal, as listed in the Schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, you must obtain a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence from us.

“The Act's provisions do not apply to any dangerous wild animals kept in zoos, a circus or premises licensed as a pet shop or a registered scientific establishment.

“If you are considering owning a hybrid of a dangerous wild animal with domestic cats and dogs, please get in touch with Animal Health and Licensing within Trading Standards, who can advise you further via

“We grant licences with general licence conditions. However, where appropriate, additional licence conditions may be attached when we issue a licence.”

Dr Mark Jones, the charity’s head of policy added: "It is unbelievable that, in this day and age, so many dangerous animals, including big cats, large primates, crocodiles and venomous snakes, continue to be legally kept in people’s homes in the UK.

"Increasing demand for and trade in all kinds of wild animals as exotic pets puts owners and the wider public at risk of injury or disease.

"It also results in serious animal suffering, and the demand increases the pressure on many wild populations which are often already under threat."

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said anyone wishing to keep an animal under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act must be vetted and apply for a licence which sets out conditions on caring for the animal.

They added: "We keep this legislation under regular review to ensure it remains effective in keeping the public safe."

They said the Government increased the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty to five years in 2021, and added it is currently bringing forward legislation to prohibit primates being kept as domestic pets.