The law requires anyone running a Zoo to be licensed.
These licences help to ensure that animals are properly looked after, by setting standards for the premises and for the level of care given. We regularly inspect these premises, and a vet accompanies us to ensure that animal welfare standards are met.
The Zoo Licensing Act 1981defines a zoo as "an establishment where wild animals are kept for exhibition to the public otherwise than for the purposes of a circus and otherwise than as a pet shop; and this Act applies to any zoo to which members of the public have access, with or without charge for admission, on more than seven days in any period of 12 consecutive months".
Although licensing is mainly designed to protect animal welfare, we also carry out health and safety checks to help protect the safety of visitors.
If you would like to set up a zoo, the application forms and information you need can be found here.
If you have any queries or concerns about animal welfare conditions at a zoo, or are worried that a premises may be acting as a zoo without a licence, please call us so that we can investigate and take action as necessary. We can also look at standards of care for animals generally, using our powers under Animal Welfare Act.
Last Modified: 25/03/2020
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