Apply for a Zoo licence

A zoo is classed as any establishment, other than a circus or pet shop, where wild animals (i.e. those not normally domesticated) are kept for public exhibition.

To run a zoo under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981, you need a licence from us.


You must not be disqualified from any of the following when you make an application:

  • The Protection of Animals Acts 1911 to 1964
  • The Protection of Animals (Scotland) Acts 1912 to 1964
  • The Pet Animals Act 1951
  • The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • The Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970
  • The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973
  • The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
  • The Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1976
  • Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Making an application

In order to apply for a licence you should complete an application form and return it together with the application fee which is currently £490 plus vet fee (not including Zoo Inspector's fee).

Once we have received your application form and fee, new premises will be inspected to check compliance with the council's licence conditions. Existing premises may also be subject to periodic inspections throughout the year

A first licence is granted for a period of four years with follow up licences issued for a period of 6 years.

Zoo Licence Application