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Dangerous wild animals and zoos

If you own or keep one or more dangerous wild animals, within the meaning of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, then you must be licensed by us.

Further information on which animals require a licence may be found in The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) (No.2) Order 2007

We will enforce the conditions of the licence, if they are breached, and will investigate any complaints received about the keeping of these animals. The licensing process will involve an authority nominated veterinary inspection, by a suitably qualified vet (i.e. qualifications in exotic and wild animals)


We must be satisfied that:

  • There is no public safety, public nuisance or other reason why such a licence should not be given.
  • The applicant is over 18 years old and a suitable person to hold the licence.
  • The animal(s) will be kept in secure accommodation.
  • There is sufficient space for the animal(s) for exercise, and the accommodation is clean, with suitable ventilation, lighting, temperature and drainage.
  • There are adequate precautions in case of fire.
  • There are adequate precautions to prevent and control infectious disease.
  • The applicant is the legal owner of the animal.
  • The licence holder has taken out insurance against liability for any damage caused.

If any specific conditions are imposed these will be stated on the licence when issued.

The following fees are applicable. Where a VET is required to inspect your premises as part of the application process you will be invoiced separately for the total costs of the vet inspection plus VAT. All veterinary inspections will be arranged by the Local Authority with an authorised Veterinary surgeon.

Application for a Licence to Keep Dangerous Wild Animals [101KB]

Zoo Licence

At least two months before making an application for a licence, the applicant must give us notice in writing of their intention to make the application. The notice must identify:

  • The zoo's location
  • The types of animals and approximate number of each group kept for exhibition on the premises and the arrangements for their accommodation, maintenance and well being
  • The approximate numbers and categories of staff to be employed in the zoo
  • The approximate number of visitors and motor vehicles for which accommodation is to be provided
  • The approximate number and position of access to be provided to the premises
  • How required conservation measures will be implemented at the zoo

You must also publish notice of that intention in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and show a copy of the notice. The notice must identify the location of the zoo and state that the application notice to the council is available to be inspected at the local authority offices.

Before a decision is made your premises will be inspected, at least 28 days notice of the inspection shall be provided.

Zoo Licensing Act 1981

Keeping zoo animals guidance from

 Notice of intention application

Please complete the HPBC Online Zoo Licence - notice of intention and application on Or please complete and return our form  Zoo licence - notice of intention application [109KB]

Apply for the licence

Zoo licence application form [31KB]