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Zoo Inspections

The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 requires the inspection and licensing of all Zoos in Great Britain. The Act itself does not actually provide a list of what are "zoo animals". There is guidance on what may be considered domestic and non-domestic for the purposes of the Zoo Licensing Act in the Government Circular 02/20003 pg67 but this list is for guidance only and not exhaustive.

Zoo inspections are required to extend to all features of the zoo directly or indirectly relevant to the health, welfare and safety of the public and the animals, including measure for the prevention and escape of animals. An inspection will also extend to the zoo's compliance with requirements on conservation and education.

The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 also takes into account the fact that zoos will vary greatly in size and nature of activity. Under this Act, there are various exemptions and dispensations which can be applied to avoid putting unnecessary work on very small establishments.