Zoos are licensed by the District Council under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.

We work in close partnership with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on all aspects of zoo licensing.

The licensing of zoos is a specialist and complex field and the regulations are complex. If you are thinking of setting up a zoo, it is recommended that you contact a specialist officer first for advice and guidance.

We cannot consider an application unless at least two months notice of the application has been given, plus publication of details in a local and national newspaper, and a notice has been placed at the site.

We must consult the police, fire authority, governing body of any national institute concerned with zoos, adjoining local authority if the zoo overlaps the area of that authority and any person who may wish to object on grounds of alleged injurious effect on the health or safety of persons living in the area.

We must arrange an inspection by a consultant inspector from the list of suitable inspectors nominated by the Secretary of State.

Application fee

From 1st April 2022 the application fees are as follows:

New and Renewal Applications for licence to operate a Zoo -

£353.30 plus all Vet inspection fees (and VAT on Vet fees) and

£28.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of Vet inspection. 

Vet Inspection

All applications will require a Vet inspection. You will be invoiced separately for the total costs of the Vet inspection(s) plus VAT.  The inspection will be arranged by the District Council, and you will be charged an arrangement fee plus VAT for each inspection. 


If you would like further information on how to make an application please contact our Licensing Team.