Zoo licence

Zoos are required to be licensed under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.

A zoo is classed as any establishment, other than a circus or pet shop, where animals are kept for public exhibition. Initially, licences are granted for four years and they are renewable every six years.

An annual inspection is undertaken by an Environmental Health Officer and the Act also requires that at least twice during the term of the licence, an inspection must be carried out by an inspector appointed for that purpose by the Secretary of State.

Application process

You can apply and pay online at GOV.UK. If you do not already have an account with the Business Link website, you must register first. Alternatively you can download a zoo licence application form (pdf, 113kb) or a zoo licence renewal form (pdf, 89kb) and return to us with the appropriate fee.