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1. Overview

You'll need a zoo licence if you'll be displaying wild animals to the public for at least seven days a year, in any place that's not a circus or pet shop.

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 one 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 will do this

You must make sure the zoo wouldn't affect:

  • the health and safety of local residents
  • local law and order
  • the animals' well-being


You also won't get a licence if anyone working or managing the zoo has committed an animal welfare offence