Zoo licences

A zoo is defined as "any establishment other than a circus or pet shop, where wild animals are kept for public exhibition on more than 7 days in any consecutive 12 months". There are exemptions for circuses, pet shops and any individual premises where the Secretary of State issues a direction that the Act should not apply. Wild animals are defined as animals not normally domesticated in Great Britain.

Our Environmental Services Section are responsible for licensing zoos under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 (as amended). The granting of a zoo licence is specialised see Secretary of State’s standards of modern zoo practice on GOV.UK.

Prior to granting a licence and during the term of the licence, inspections of zoos are undertaken by a specialist vet appointed by the Secretary of State.

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