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You will need a zoo licence if you:

  • keep wild animals for exhibition
  • allow members of the public to view the animals for seven or more days in a 12 month period

You can look at GOV.UK for information licence conditions, how to apply for a licence and the penalties for operating without one.

To apply for a licence, you will need to:

If you are having trouble downloading the application form, you can read our guidance.

Once we receive your application, we will:

  • acknowledge it within three working days
  • carry out a site visit
  • notify you of our decision

We will only grant your licence if you comply with all objectives and conditions.

If we need a veterinary inspection of your establishment as part of the application process, you will have to pay for the inspection.

If we do not grant your licence, we will not refund your licence fee or any veterinary inspection charges. 

Your initial zoo licence will be valid for four years from the date we granted it.

You need to renew your initial licence at least six months before it expires.

Any subsequent licences will be valid for six years. You also need to renew any subsequent licences at least six months before it expires.

To renew your licence, you will need to:

You can read our guidance about how to download the PDF application form.

If you disagree with our decision about your animal licence or a condition attached to the licence, you can appeal.

However, before you appeal you need to contact us so that we can explain why we made that decision. 

You need to appeal within six months of receiving our decision.

You need to appeal in writing to:

Chelmsford Magistrates' Court and Family Court Hearing Centre
Court Administration Centre
PO Box 10754
Chelmsford
Essex
CM1 9PZ

When you appeal, you need to give details of the licence, and why you disagree with our decision.

Is there something wrong with this page?

You can report issues with the website using our website feedback form, which will go directly to the Web Team. This team will be unable to deal with your enquiry if it is not related to the website.

Last updated: 29 November 2022