Zoo licensing

You will need a licence to run a zoo. For the purposes of licensing, an establishment is considered a zoo if:

  • animals are kept for exhibition
  • the public have access to it, with or without charge
  • it is open for more than seven days in one year

You will also need to complete a 'notification to operate a zoo' form. The notification to operate a zoo will need to be published in a local and national newspaper two months before a licence application is made.

Fees
A zoo licence from Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council is £1000.

Apply
You can get a licence from the licensing authority where your zoo will be located. This is usually the local council. If you do not know who that is, visit: Gov.UK, find your local council

To find notification to operate a zoo forms, costs and to apply for a licence, see the relevant licensing authority below:

Forest Heath District Council
For a notification to operate a zoo as well as an application form to run a zoo, visit: Gov.UK, zoo licence - FHDC

St Edmundsbury Borough Council
For a notification to operate a zoo as well as an application form to run a zoo, visit: Gov.UK, zoo licence - SEBC

How long is my licence valid for?
For new applicants a licence is valid for four years. A renewed licence is valid for six years.

Does tacit authorisation apply?
No, it does not. It is in the interest of the public that your application is fully processed before a licence can be granted.