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Explanatory Memorandum to Dangerous Wild Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Article 7: Exemptions

This Article provides for the following types of establishment in which DWAs may be kept to be exempt from the requirement to obtain a licence:

  • zoos which are licensed under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972;

  • pet shops which are licensed under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972;

  • circuses; and

  • scientific establishments for performing animal experiments, which are regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Paragraph (3) gives the Department power to make subordinate legislation to exempt certain species of DWA from the requirement to obtain a licence but individual animals of that species will be exempt only where it is a ‘farmed’ animal.

The thrust of the legislation is to regulate the keeping of DWAs kept by private individuals as pets, which is regarded as the main area of concern in terms of a potential threat to public safety that is presently unregulated.

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