DERBYSHIRE: Dangerous animal licences

A licence is needed to own certain snakes such as rattlesnakes and cobras
A licence is needed to own certain snakes such as rattlesnakes and cobras

Dangerous snakes and a rare Asian leopard cat are being kept in Derbyshire, according to new figures.

Owners of animals that are threatened or have the potential to harm or even kill require a licence, issued under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

After filing Freedom of Information requests with borough councils in Derbyshire, we can reveal the dangerous animals being kept in the area.

One licence issued relates to a rare Asian leopard cat.

An Asian leopard cat is a similar size to its domestic counterpart but has a similar pattern – as the name suggests – of a leopard.

It has webbed toes and is most commonly found in China, Russia, India and Pakistan and the surrounding areas.

The cat is listed as a threatened species and this is the reason why a licence is required to care for it.

It lives in tropical rainforests, plantations and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas and eats small mammals such as rats, mice and hares, along with lizards, birds and insects.

Meanwhile, a resident in Amber Valley has a license for a number of snakes.

Only certain species require a licence to be kept, including cobras, vipers and rattlesnakes.

A resident in Erewash also owns numerous snakes requiring a dangerous animal licence.

Derbyshire Dales District Council has not issued any dangerous animal licences in the past three years.

In 2012, the Press Association revealed the results of Freedom of Information requests sent off to hundreds of councils across the UK.

It found that there were licences for more than 2,000 wild boar, 412 bison, more than 300 venomous snakes, 145 ostriches, 115 lemurs, 15 wolves, 13 tigers, 10 alligators, nine pumas, nine crocodiles, eight leopards, seven cheetahs and two lions.

Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service