You’ll need a zoo licence if you’ll be displaying wild animals to the public for at least 7 days a year, in any place that’s not a circus or pet shop.

The highest priority must be the welfare and health of all the animals.

Apply for a zoo licence online.

To receive a licence you must:

  • educate people about biodiversity
  • have suitable spaces for the types of animals you keep
  • have a high standard of animal care
  • do as much as possible to stop animals escaping
  • stop pests and vermin getting into the zoo

You must also do at least one of the following:

  • captive animal breeding
  • conservation research or training
  • sharing conservation information
  • helping repopulate or reintroduce species into the wild

An EU directive has introduced a set of principles and this is backed up with a standard of modern zoo practice.