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Zoo licence

Anywhere wild animals are kept for public exhibition needs a licence from us.

Existing licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a licence should read the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 guide to the Act’s provisions.

Apply for a licence

Two months before making an application, you should submit a notice to Local Authority of intention to apply for a zoo licence to us. You must also publish a copy of this notice in one local and one national newspaper two months before you apply.

This gives time for people to read your intention and to make any representations. We’ll inspect your premises and check to see if you have the correct planning permission.

When the two months is up, you can apply for a zoo licence and send it to us with the correct fee.

Use our online form below to submit your notice and application. You will also need to pay the application fee using a debit or credit card.

The cost to apply for the grant of a zoo licence is £635. The cost to apply for a renewal is £599. We can also charge for reasonable expenses such as vets’ fees.

We will refuse to grant a zoo licence if we feel that the zoo will affect the health or safety of people who live close by, or seriously affect the preservation of law and order. We will also refuse to grant a zoo licence if we are not satisfied that conservation measures will be implemented in a satisfactory manner.

Report unlicensed zoo

If you know or suspect someone is running a zoo without a licence, you can report it to us by using our general enquiries online form.

We will investigate reports to check if the premises has a licence.

Laws and regulation

Zoo licences are issued under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 as amended by the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Regulations 2002.