Zoo and Dangerous Wild Animal Licensing

Zoo licensing

Zoo Licensing - defra guidance

The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 applies to any establishment, other than a Circus or Pet Shop, where wild animals are kept for public exhibition on more than seven days in any consecutive twelve months.

Licences are granted initially for four years and thereafter are normally renewable every six years.

The Secretary of State for the Environment has specified standards of modern Zoo practice to which Local Authorities must have regard. These can be found on the defra web site.

Inspections of zoos are required under the Act and Local Authorities carry them out with two inspectors nominated by the Secretary of State and up to three appointed by the Local Authority, at least one of whom will be a Veterinary Surgeon or Practitioner.

How do I apply?

Zoo licence application forms - print version

Dangerous wild animals

Dangerous Wild Animals - defra guidance

Licence Conditions

Local Authorities have the power of entry and inspection of premises that hold a licence. They may seize any dangerous wild animals that are being kept on the premises if the animal is unlicensed, or where any condition of the licence is not being complied with.

When issuing a licence, the Local Authority considers matters such as the accommodation, which should be secure, and suitable.

The animal must be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and must be visited at suitable intervals. There must also be emergency provisions, such as in respect of fire or in cases of infectious disease.


Tel: (01444) 477419
Email: licensing@midsussex.gov.uk