Exotic Animals You Can Own Without A Licence in The UK


To own most wild or exotic animals in the UK requires a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence. However, some exotic animals are excepted from UK's Dangerous Wild Animals list and can be owned without a licence. If you are looking for an exotic animal you can own without a licence in the UK, you might find one that is suitable for you in this article.

You don't need a license to keep the following exotic animals as pets in the UK:

1. Sloth

A pet Sloth

You may keep a Sloth as a pet without obtaining a license from your local council in the UK. However, you should keep in mind that Sloths are wild animals but exceptionally quiet, and you need the space, money, and time to commit to keeping one as a pet. Two-toed sloths, which have an average lifespan of 20 years, are commonly kept as pets.

2. Capybara

three Capybaras

Known as the largest living rodents, Capybaras are social animals native to South America. Because they live in groups in the wild, it is not recommended to keep just one Capybara as a pet. By all accounts, Capybaras can be tame and friendly. They can live for up to twelve years as pets. Capybaras might make the best pet rodents for you in the UK.

3. The African crested porcupine

An African crested porcupine

Porcupines are not popular as pets, though they can be tamed and can be wonderfully interesting companions for the right person. Porcupines live for up to 10 years as pets. In addition to the African crested porcupine, it is also legal to keep the North American porcupine as a pet without a license in the United Kingdom.

4. Kinkajou

A captive Kinkajou

Kinkajous are tropical rainforest mammals that are often mistakenly called primates because they look a bit like monkeys. Kinkajous in human care are generally described as friendly, playful, and curious. However, they may easily act aggressively when startled. Overall, Kinkajous are high-maintenance animals but can make a unique pet for the right person. If you are looking for a unique exotic pet in the UK, a pet Kinkajou might be the right choice for you. Kinkajous have an average lifespan of 23 years in captivity.

5. Vietnamese Pot-bellied

A Vietnamese Pot-bellied

In the United Kingdom, owning a pig or a 'micropig' as a pet does not necessitate a license. However, it is imperative to adhere to the legal requirement of registering as a pig keeper. As a responsible keeper, you bear the legal responsibility for the well-being of your pig. This entails providing a suitable living environment, ensuring a proper diet, promoting natural and normal behavior, and safeguarding the animal from pain, suffering, injury, and disease. By fulfilling these obligations, you demonstrate your commitment to the welfare of your pig and uphold the standards set forth by the law.

6. Small wild cats

In the UK, a license is not required to keep the following small wild cats as pets:
  • Rusty-spotted cat
  • Pallas's cat
  • Kodkod
  • Bay cat
  • Sand cat
  • Black-footed cat
  • Geoffroy’s cat
  • Little spotted cat

7. Certain smaller primates

Certain smaller primates are excepted from the UK's list of Dangerous Wild Animals. These smaller primates, which can be kept as pets without a license include tamarin monkeys, owl monkeys, squirrel monkeys, titi monkeys, woolly lemurs, and bamboo lemurs.

8. Coati (Nasua)

a Coati in the wild

Coatis or coatimundis are diurnal mammals of the family Procyonidae. Coatis are cute, curious, and pretty friendly mammals that can make fun and affectionate pets for the right people. Coatis grow to a length of up to 24 inches and have an average lifespan of 14 years in human care.

9. Fennec fox

A pet Fennec fox

You can keep the small African fennec fox as an exotic pet without a license in the United Kingdom. Fennec foxes are known for their large ears and grow to a length of up to 39.5 cm in head-to-body size. When kept indoors as pets, Fennec foxes behave a bit like active, playful small dogs. However, Fennec foxes are not cheap pets and require a lot of care and exercise to stay healthy and happy. In the UK, a Fennec fox can cost between £2,500 and £3,500. On average, a Fennec fox can live for up to 12 years in human care.

10. Exotic Pocket Pets

The following exotic pocket pets are legal to own without a license in the UK: African pygmy hedgehogs, Mongolian gerbils, Golden hamsters, Chinchillas, Guinea pigs, Ball pythons, Sugar gliders, Iguanas, and Opossums.


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