Zoo Licence

Information and advice on how to apply for a zoo licence.

Licence summary

A zoo is any establishment where wild animals are kept for exhibition to the public and members of the public have access, with or without charge for admission on more than seven days in any 12 consecutive months. Pet shops and circuses are not required to have a zoo licence. 

The licensing of zoos is a specialist 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.

Our Licensing department works in close partnership with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on all aspects of zoo licensing.

 

Eligibility criteria

Zoo Licensing Act 1981
 

Regulation summary

A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence

 

Application evaluation process

The local authority 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 placed at the site.

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

The application form does not have to be sent in with a fee, the actual cost of processing the application and inspections will be invoiced to you.

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

A Licence once issued is valid for 4 years.

Applications to renew the licence must be made at least 6 months before the licence expires.

The licence fee will be the actual cost of processing the application by us.

 

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted.  Please allow a minimum of 6 months for a zoo licence to be processed, although in some cases it can take much longer.

 

How to apply

You can apply by completing the following:

 

Failed application redress

In the first instance please contact:

The Licensing Manager
Licensing Service
South Somerset District Council
The Council Offices
Brympton Way
Yeovil
Somerset
BA20 2HT

Telephone: 01935 462462

Contact the Licensing team online.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to the local Magistrates' court. The appeal must be bought within 6 month's of receiving written notice of the authority's decision.

The Magistrates Court
Petters Way
Yeovil
Somerset
BA20 1SW

Telephone: 01935 426281

 

Licence holder redress

In the first instance please contact:

The Licensing Manager
Licensing Service
South Somerset District Council
The Council Offices
Brympton Way
Yeovil
Somerset
BA20 2HT

Telephone: 01935 462462

Contact the Licensing team online.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to the local Magistrates' court. The appeal must be bought within 6 months of receiving written notification of the authority's decision.

The Magistrates Court
Petters Way
Yeovil
Somerset
BA20 1SW

Telephone: 01935 426281

 

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other redress

None.

 

Trade associations

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
 

Public Register

View list of Public Registers
 
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