2 March 2018
Are you living next door to a dangerous wild cat?
While many of us might not imagine that dangerous wild cats are kept in homes across Great Britain, Born Free can reveal the shocking statistic that there are at least 292 dangerous wild cats being kept privately in Britain, including at least 37 big cats such as tigers, lions, and leopards; all licensed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. Forty-five local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales have issued a total of 51 licences for people to keep nearly 300 individual wild cats.
It remains possible for private keepers to own a range of dangerous wild animals in Britain, if licensed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. Born Free is extremely concerned by the number of these licences, given that wild animals are particularly vulnerable to welfare problems, especially when kept in a domestic environment. The cats have complex, social, physical and behavioural needs which require specific housing, temperature, humidity and dietary requirements, and furthermore they represent a significant risk to their owners and the wider public.
Born Free is calling for a full review of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, covering all aspects of ownership including the keeping, breeding and trade of all dangerous wild animals. We will publishing a full analysis of the situation in Britain in the coming weeks.