Zoo Licensing

The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 requires the Local Authority to issue licences all Zoo's within its area. For licensing purposes “zoo" means an establishment where wild animals (as defined by section 21) are kept for exhibition to the public other than for purposes of a circus (as so defined) and a pet shop (as so defined). The Act applies to any zoo to which members of the public have access, with or without charge for admission, on more than seven days in any period of 12 consecutive months.

Zoo operators have to comply with the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice. These standards cover animal welfare, environmental issues, conservation, education and research.

Sites are fully inspected every 3 years by a team of experts, including up to Government-appointed inspectors.

These inspectors, usually veterinary practitioners, are appointed for their knowledge of the animals within the zoological collection and their experience in managing zoological parks of comparable size.

The costs of inspection and administration for the license are charged to the zoo operator. On years where there is no full inspection, an informal inspection is made by Council officers.

Making an Application

The licensing of zoos is a specialist field and regulation complex.

If you are thinking of setting up a zoo, it is recommended that you contact us first for advice and guidance before starting the application 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 Local Authority must consult the police, fire authority, governing body of any national institute concerned with zoos, the 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 Local Authority must arrange an inspection by a consultant inspector from the list of suitable inspectors nominated by the Secretary of State.

Application and Guidance

Notice of Intention to Apply For A Zoo Licence

Application for New Zoo Licence

Application for Renewal

Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice


Actual cost of inspection. This includes all veterinary and licensing officer time including inspections and administration.


Email: licensing@sstaffs.gov.uk

Telephone: 01902 696804


Get in touch


South Staffs Council

Wolverhampton Road, Codsall

South Staffordshire


Show on map

Office Opening Times

If you are unable to find what you need online today please contact us on 01902 696000.

Mon-Tue,Thu-Fri 09:00am - 17:00pm
Wed 10:00am - 17:00pm
Sat-Sun Closed

Face to Face appointments are available but must be pre booked in advance of your visit by calling 01902 696000.