How to apply for a zoo licence

Licence conditions

Licence conditions (required by section 1A of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981)

The operator of the zoo must ensure that the following measures are implemented in the zoo:

  • Promotion of public education and awareness in relation to the conservation of biodiversity, in particular by providing information about the species of wild animals kept in the zoo and their natural habitats
  • Accommodating and keeping animals in a manner which meets the standards set out in the Secretary of State’s Modern Zoo Practice (GOV.UK)
  • Preventing the escape of animals and putting in place measures to be taken in the event of any escape or unauthorised release of animals
  • Preventing the intrusion of pests and vermin into the premises of the zoo
  • Keeping up-to-date records of the zoo’s collection of animals, including:
    • Records of the numbers of different animals
    • Acquisitions, births, deaths, disposals and escapes of animals
    • The causes of any deaths
    • The health of the animals


A zoo must show to be participating in at least one of the following:

  • Research from which conservation benefits accrue to species of wild animals
  • Training in relevant conservation skills
  • The exchange of information relating to the conservation of species of wild animals
  • Where appropriate, breeding of wild animals in captivity
  • Where appropriate, the repopulation of an area with, or the reintroduction into the wild of, wild animals

Other conditions

Additional conditions can be added to ensure the proper conduct of the zoo in all other respects during the period of the licence. These can include any conditions recommended in reports following an inspection of the zoo (wherever appropriate). 

Other conditions could include:

  • Insurance: Within one month of the date of the licence and one month of the date of renewal of the policy, where applicable, a copy of the zoo’s current public liability insurance policy and of subsequent renewals, to be sent to the licensing authority
  • Hazardous animals: The licensing authority to be notified in writing, at least one month in advance, of the proposed addition of any animal listed in category one of the Hazardous Animal Categorisation which is from a taxonomic family species which have not previously been kept in the zoo
  • Temporary removal of animals from the zoo: The licence holder must notify the licensing authority (Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council) before the temporary removal from the zoo (other than for veterinary attention or inter-zoo movements) of any animal listed in category one of the Hazardous Animal Categorisation. Notice should be given as early as possible and no later than 12 hours before the removal, unless the zoo operator and licensing authority have agreed a shorter period. Details should include the destination, the method of transportation of the animal, the arrangements for its well being and the arrangements for the safety of the public 
  • Escapes: In the event of any non-domestic animal escaping from the zoo, the licensing authority should be notified as soon as possible and not later than 24 hours following the escape
  • Stock records: An annual stocklist of all animals must be kept and a copy must be forwarded to the local authority no later than 1 April of the year following that to which it relates

 Last updated:‎ ‎14‎/‎02‎/‎2023‎ ‎16‎:‎50‎