Shropshire Council

Zoo licence

If you wish to run a zoo you'll need a licence from us.

Two months before you make a licence application a notice of intent should be published in one local and one national newspaper, at the site and sent to the local authority where it will be made available for public inspection.  It must state the:

  • location of the zoo
  • kinds of animals to be kept, in taxonomic category of order
  • arrangements made for the animals' accommodation, maintenance and well being
  • approximate number and categories of staff employed or to be employed at the zoo
  • approximate number of visitors and motor vehicle accommodation is provided for
  • approximate number and position of the means of access provided or to be provided to the premises

Then you need to formally apply for a licence.

There are three types of inspection undertaken with respect to zoo licences, as detailed below.

Periodic inspections

These are undertaken when a licence is in existence.

The authority will discuss with the operator about the inspection and give 28 days notice of the inspection.

Inspections will be undertaken:

  • for a new licence.  Once during the first year and the second not later than six months before the end of year 4.
  • for a renewed licence or fresh licence granted to the holder of an existing licence.  Once during the third year and the second not later than six months before the end of year 6.

Special inspections

May be undertaken by us if we consider it necessary to do so because of:

  • a periodic report
  • any representations made to local authority or on behalf of a properly constituted body concerned with any aspect of the zoo management or its animal welfare
  • an informal inspection
  • any other circumstances which will call for an investigation

Informal inspections

These are once in any calendar year where no other inspection has been made and by a council-appointed person.

The following conditions will be applied:

  • consult the licensing authority and agree accommodation requirements and any special provisions before acquiring any animal species belonging to Category 1 (Greater Risk) of the Dangerous Animal Categorisation detailed in chapter 12 of the secretary of state's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice March 2000 (DETR)
  • notify the licensing authority without delay of any animal species belonging to Categories 2 and 3 of the Dangerous Animal Classification, acquired after the issue of this licence
  • insurance - within one month of the date of the licence and one month of the date of renewal of the policy, where applicable, a copy of the zoo's current public liability insurance policy, and of subsequent renewals thereof, to be sent to the licensing authority
  • stock list - a copy of the zoo's annual stock list, as defined in the secretary of state's standards of modern zoo practice, to be forwarded to the licensing authority by 1 April of the year following that to which it relates
  • dangerous animals - the licensing authority to be notified in writing at least one month in advance of the proposed addition of any animal listed in the current schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, as currently amended, which is not from a taxonomic order not previously kept in the zoo
  • temporary removal of animals from the zoo - the licensee/s to notify the licensing authority before the temporary removal from the zoo (other than for veterinary attention or inter-zoo movements) of any animal listed in the schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, as currently amended.  Such notification to be given as early as possible and, in any case, no later than 12 hours before the removal, unless the zoo operator and licensing authority mutually agree a shorter period.  When giving notification, details of the destination and method of transportation of the animal and of the arrangements for its well-being, as well as for the safety of the public whilst it is away from the zoo, to be provided
  • escapes - within one month of the date of the licence a copy of the written procedures in respect of animal escapes to be sent to the local authority within one month of being made
  • in the event of any non-domestic animal escaping from the confines of the zoo, notification shall be made to the licensing authority as soon as possible and, in any case, not later than 24 hours following the escape

Note 1 - these conditions are attached to the licence without prejudice to the application where relevant, of the secretary of state's standards of modern zoo practice specified in accordance with the powers conferred under section 9 of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.

Am I eligible to apply for a zoo licence?

We may refuse to grant a licence if the applicant or keeper in the zoo has been convicted under any offence involving the ill-treatment of animals, including: Protection of Animals Acts 1911 to 1964, Protection of Animals (Scotland) Acts 1912 to 1964, Pet Animals Act 1951, Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970, Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1976, Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

What is it for?

The exhibiting of wild animals to the general public on more than seven days in any twelve consecutive months. There are exemptions for circuses, pet shops and any individual premises where the secretary of state issues a direction that the act should not apply.

Who needs one?

Anyone wishing to open and run a zoo, exhibiting of wild animals to the general public on more than seven days in any twelve consecutive months.

How long will it take?

You must allow at least four months for us to issue a licence.

How much will it cost?

There is a fee for issuing this document, which is taken when you apply.

What will I need before I apply?

  • Completed application form
  • Fee
  • See application form for any additional requirements
  • Appropriate insurance
  • Site plan
  • Proof of planning permission

Apply now

Download the form, complete it on your home computer, and email it to licensing@shropshire.gov.uk

Download the form

Download the form, print it out, fill it in and post your application along with the fee if applicable to:

The Licensing Team, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND

Download the form