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.


The fee for a zoo licence is £1000.


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, email us: food&safety@westsuffolk.gov.uk

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.

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