You will need to apply for a zoo licence if:

  • you run a zoo where wild animals are displayed to the public
  • animals are on display for at least seven days a year

Circuses and pet shops are exempt from this. The licence and intention to apply are subject to fees.

Contact us to discuss your proposal before you apply.

food and safety team


Other information

  • you may not operate the zoo until a licence has been granted - contact us if you have not heard from us within 84 days of application
  • before any licence application is considered a new zoo must make the authority aware of their intention to apply for a licence via a notice on the GOV.UK website
  • certain information must be provided with the notice and two months will be given to consider the notice including public scrutiny and comment
  • if the applicant, their company, the manager or keepers have been convicted of cruelty to animals then the licence will be refused
  • conditions will be included with the licence to ensure the safety of the public and the welfare of the animals within the zoo
  • for consumer complaints, contact the zoo in writing first then contact us if you need further help