Search

Dangerous wild cat seized in Biggin Hill

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 April 2019

The serval cat was found in Biggin Hill. Picture: Bromley Council

The serval cat was found in Biggin Hill. Picture: Bromley Council

Archant

A dangerous and rare cat being kept illegally has been seized during a police bust in Biggin Hill.

A serval cat, a native to Africa, has been taken in by Bromley Council after it was found last month.

There are strict rules in the UK about the keeping of rare and exotic animals, and the cat was found unlicensed by police and council workers.

The animal is 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 40lb, a council spokesman said.

Councillor Kate Lymer, cabinet member for public protection and enforcement, said: “Licensing exists to protect individuals and animals. If an owner meets the criteria we will license prior to them obtaining the wild animal.

“Keeping an exotic animal is not the same as a domestic pet – they have special diets and needs, with natural instincts that must be met, for example.

“Many wild animals, like the serval cat, are seen by some as a status symbol, too.

“Of course there are many legitimate ways of obtaining an animal and anyone considering getting a pet, whether a cat or another animal, might want to go to a rescue centre or animal shelter.”

A serval is a cat native to the African grasslands, typically found south of the Sahara Desert.

The serval is a wild animal, and for this reason people require specific licences to own one.

There are many risks with owning this animal, and while they have been known to be affectionate they need space to fulfill their natural instincts.

The Biggin Hill cat, found on March 29, is thought to have been illegally bred or imported.

Bromley Council is now looking to place the animal, which is listed as dangerous in the UK, in a zoo.

Anyone keeping a listed animal without the £636 licence risks prosecution.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bromley Times. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Bromley Times