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You must have a zoo licence if you keep wild animals for exhibitions to the public (not including a circus or pet shop) for 7 days or more in a year.

Apply for a zoo licence

We will arrange for a vet to inspect your premises before we issue a licence. 

The cost of the licence is £750 plus vet fees and lasts for four years (with regular inspections in this time).

To get a licence your zoo must:

  • help educate people about biodiversity
  • be suitable for the types of animals you’re keeping
  • have a high standard of animal care
  • do as much as possible to stop any animals escaping
  • stop pests and vermin getting into the zoo

You must also do at least 1 of the following:

  • conservation research or training
  • sharing conservation information
  • captive animal breeding
  • helping repopulate or reintroduce species into the wild

Before you can get a licence you’ll need to tell us how you’ll do this.

You must make sure the zoo wouldn’t affect:

  • the health and safety of local people
  • local law and order
  • the animals’ well-being

You may not get a licence if anyone working in or managing the zoo has committed an animal welfare offence.

Contact the Licensing Section


Telephone: 01304 872295

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