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Zoo licences


Table showing fees for zoo licences

Type of licence


Notification to operate a zoo


Application for licence to operate a zoo


Zoo licence - renewal


Application process

Notification of intention to operate a zoo

At least 2 months before making an application for a zoo licence, you must:

  • give notice in writing to us of your intention to make the application
  • publish a notice of that intention in one local newspaper circulating in the locality
  • publish a notice in one newspaper with a national circulation and
  • exhibit a copy of that notice at the site
  • in the notice you must specify the kinds of animals, approximate numbers and the arrangements for their accommodation, maintenance and wellbeing - you must also include details of staff and visitor numbers, details of means of access to the premises, and also how conservation measures will be implemented at the zoo

Application for a licence to operate a zoo

When considering your application, we will take into account any representations received from the following:

  • the applicant
  • the chief officer of police
  • the fire authority
  • the governing body of any national institution concerned with the operation of zoos
  • the planning authority
  • any person alleging that the establishment or continuance of the zoo would injuriously affect the health or safety of people living in the neighbourhood of the zoo
  • any other person whose representations might, in our opinion, show grounds on which the authority has a power or duty to refuse to grant a licence

We will also consider any inspection reports.

How long will it take to process my application?

We aim to process your application within 28 days of receiving it. Please contact us if you have not heard from us by the end of this period.


Please contact us first. If you are refused a licence or you want to object to a condition on the licence you can appeal to the local magistrates' court within 21 days of receiving notice of the decision.

The law

The relevant legislation is the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.

Contact information

Licensing Team

Make an enquiry