Zoo Licence

To run a zoo in England, Scotland or Wales you need a licence from the Council.

The licence will be subject to fees and conditions to ensure the proper conduct of the zoo.

Who Can Apply?

At least two months before making an application for a licence, the applicant must give notice in writing (including by electronic means) to the Council of their intention to make the application. The notice must identify:

  • the zoo's location
  • types of animals and approximate number of each group kept for exhibition on the premises and the arrangements for their accommodation, maintenance and wellbeing
  • 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

At least two months before making the application, the applicant must also publish notice of that intention in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and exhibit a copy of that notice at the premises. 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 Council offices.

What legislation governs this application?

A summary of the regulations relating to this licence

Do I have to pay an application fee?

Yes. Please see Fees & Charges.

How is my application processed?

When considering an application the Council will  take into account any representations made by or on behalf of:

  • the applicant
  • the Chief Officer of Police in the relevant area
  • the appropriate authority - this is either the enforcing authority or relevant authority in whose area the zoo will be situated the governing body of any national institution concerned with the operation of zoos
  • where part of the zoo is not situated in the area of the Council with power to grant the licence, the local planning authority for the area in which it is situated
  • any person alleging that the zoo would affect the health or safety of people living in the neighbourhood
  • any other person whose representations might show grounds on which the Council has a power or duty to refuse to grant a licence

Before granting or refusing to grant the licence, the Council will consider any inspectors' reports based on their inspection of the zoo, consult the applicant about any conditions they propose should be attached to the licence and make arrangements for an inspection to be carried out. At least 28 days notice of the inspection shall be provided by the Council.

The Council will  not grant the licence if they feel that the zoo would adversely affect the health or safety of people living in near it, or seriously affect the preservation of law and order or if they are not satisfied that appropriate conservation measures would be satisfactorily implemented.

An application may also be refused if:

  • the Council is not satisfied that standards of accommodation, staffing or management are adequate for the proper care and wellbeing of the animals or for the proper conduct of the zoo
  • the applicant, or if the applicant is an incorporated company, the company or any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the company, or a keeper in the zoo, has been convicted of an offence under this Act or of  any offence involving the ill-treatment of animals

Applications to renew a licence will be considered no later than six months before the expiry of the existing licence, unless a shorter time period is allowed by the Council.

The Welsh Government, after consulting the Council, may direct them to attach one or more conditions to a licence.

The Council  may advise the Welsh Government that, because of the small number of animals kept in the zoo or the small number of the kinds of animal kept there, a direction should be made that that a licence is not required.

Will implied consent apply?

No, implied consent will not apply. It is in the public interest that the Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the Council within a reasonable period please contact us.. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes Service or use the contact details below.

Apply online

Can I appeal if my application fails?

Please contact the Environmental Health Section in the first instance regarding any returned or refused licence applications.

A licence holder may appeal to a Magistrates' court against:

  • any condition attached to a licence or any variation or cancellation of a condition
  • the refusal to approve the transfer of a licence
  • a zoo closure direction
  • enforcement directions relating to any licence condition not met

The appeal must be brought within 28 days from the date on which the licence holder receives written notification of the Council’s decision as to the relevant matter.

Consumer Complaint

Should you wish to make a complaint please contact the Environmental Health Section.

Contact Information

Public Protection Service
Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
Municipal Offices
Civic Centre
Ebbw Vale
NP23 6XB

Telephone:  01495 357813
Fax: 01495 355834

Email : environmental.health@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk