Zoo licences

Apply for a zoo licence.

If you wish to run a zoo, you must apply for a licence under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. A zoo licence is needed if displaying wild animals to the public for at least seven days a year, in any place that's not a circus or pet shop. 


You must give notice us two months notice before you make an application. 

You must also publish a notice in a local and national newspaper and also 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. 

The following documents are required as part of your application:

  • site and location plan (mandatory) 
  • plan showing proposed layout of the zoo (mandatory) 
  • planning permission (mandatory) 
  • animal accommodation plan (mandatory) 
  • annotated drawing or plan of animal accommodation (mandatory)
  • entrances and exits plan (optional) 
  • annotated drawing or plan of entrances and exits to the premises (optional)
  • stock list (optional) 
  • press notice (optional) 
  • public liability insurance certificate (optional) 
  • employer's liability insurance certificate (optional) 

To apply for this licence, please email the Environmental Health team.

Additional information

Zoo licences last for four years and renewals for six years. You will need to apply to renew your licence at least six months before the existing licence expires. 

If your licence is refused and you wish to appeal, please contact the Environmental Health team. You must appeal within 28 days of receiving written notification of our decision.  

Your premises will be inspected before we issue a licence. If we grant a licence, we will inspect your premises on an annual basis. 

Contact Environmental Health