§ Mr. Wakeham
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied with the initial workings of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, particularly the level of licence fees arid conditions for the granting of a licence which are laid down by local authorities; whether all local authorities have complied with the Act; and whether he will list in the Official Report the licence fees for local authorities in the county of Essex.148W
§ Dr. Summerskill
This Act came into operation on 22nd October. Anyone who was keeping on that date a dangerous wild animal to which the Act applies has until 20th January next to apply to the local authority for a licence. The Act gives effect to the Government's general policy that the full economic cost of providing such a service should be met by the applicant by providing that the licensing authority may stipulate such licence fee as in the authority's opinion is sufficient to meet the direct and indirect costs which it may incur as a result of the application. In empowering the licensing authority to attach conditions to the licence the Act also stipulates a number of conditions which must be applied to every licence. The provisions of the Act have been very generally welcomed, and I believe it will serve a useful purpose, but it is as yet too early to comment on its working. Nor is it possible to list fees to be charged, which may well vary according to the particular circumstances.