To run a zoo in England, Scotland and Wales, you need a licence from the local authority. The licence may be subject conditions to ensure the proper conduct of the zoo.
Copies of relevant legislation can be found on the legislation.gov.uk website.
At least two months before making an application for a licence, the applicant must give notice in writing (including by electronic means) to the local authority of their intention to make the application. The notice must identify:
At least two months before making the application, the applicant must also publish notice of that intention in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and exhibit a copy of that notice. The notice must identify the location of the zoo and state that the application notice to the local authority is available to be inspected at the local authority offices.
When considering an application the local authority shall take into account any representations made by or on behalf of:
Before granting or refusing to grant the licence, the local authority shall consider any inspectors' reports based on their inspection of the zoo, consult the applicant about any conditions they propose should be attached to the licence and make arrangements for an inspection to be carried out. At least 28 days notice of the inspection shall be provided by the local authority.
The local authority will not grant the licence if they feel that the zoo would adversely affect the health or safety of people living in near it, or seriously affect the preservation of law and order or if they are not satisfied that appropriate conservation measures would be satisfactorily implemented.
An application may also be refused if:
Applications to renew a licence will be considered no later than six months before the expiry of the existing licence, unless a shorter time period is allowed by the local authority.
The Secretary of State, after consulting the local authority, may direct them to attach one or more conditions to a licence.
The local authority may advise the Secretary of State that, because of the small number of animals kept in the zoo or the small number of the kinds of animal kept there, a direction should be made that that a licence is not required.
To apply for a Zoo licence please complete the appropriate form(s) below.
The current fees for a licence are:
Grant of a Licence £328.00
Renewal of a Licence £238.00
Change of Details £119.00
|Application Form||Apply online|
|Send notification of your intention to operate a Zoo||View|
|Apply for a licence to operate a Zoo||View|
|Apply to renew a licence to operate a Zoo||View|
|Tell us about a change to your existing zoo licence||View|
Tacit consent means that if we have not dealt with applications within the target period then the application can be deemed to have been granted/approved.
Please note that tacit consent does not apply in respect of this application. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or contact us.
Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates Court. Please contact us in the first instance.
A licence holder may appeal to a Magistrates' court against:
The appeal must be brought within 28 days from the date on which the licence holder receives written notification of the authority's decision as to the relevant matter.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you, preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, visit our Consumer pages or Gov.uk for advice. From outside of the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.