What happens after I have submitted my Notice of Intention to Operate a Zoo?

On receipt of your Notice, a member of the Licensing team will phone you to take the first part of the application fee by edebit or credit card.   We will then arrange for a Licensing Officer to visit you to inspect the premises.  

What happens after I have submitted my Formal Applicaiotn for a Zoo Licence?

On receipt of your fomal application we will inform the following:

  • Chief Officer of Police
  • Avon Fire and Rescue
  • B&NES Development Control
  • B&NES Trading Standards

When considering an application we shall take into account any representations made by or on behalf of:

  • 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 local authority with power to grant the licence, a planning authority for the relevant area (other than a county planning authority);
  • any person alleging that the zoo would affect the health or safety of people living in the neighbourhood;
  • anyone stating that the zoo would affect the health or safety of anyone living near it;
  • any other person whose representations might show grounds on which the authority has a power or duty to refuse to grant a licence.

We will also:

  • 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 (we will provide at least 28 days' notice of the inspection).

We will not not grant the licence if:

  • we 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 we are not satisfied that appropriate conservation measures would be satisfactorily implemented;
  • we are not satisfied that accommodation, staffing or management standards are suitable 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 of the company's directors, managers, secretaries or other similar officers, or a keeper in the zoo, has been convicted of any offence involving the ill-treatment of animals.

We may advise the Secretary of State 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.


The Council may add conditions specific to your establishment if it considers it necessary.

The Secretary of State may direct us to attach one or more conditions to the licence.

How long will it take to process my application?

Tacit consent applies.  This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the 100 day target completion period.

Can I appeal against a decision?

Please contact Licensing Services in the first instance.

If you:

  • are refused a licence; or
  • wish to appeal against a condition attached to your licence, or any variation or cancellation fo a condition;
  • the refusal to approve the transfer of a lcience;
  • a zoo closure direction;
  • enforcement steps relating to any unmet condition.

you can appeal to Bath Magistrates’ Court.

The appeal must be brought within 28 daysfrom the date on which the licence holder or applicant receives written notification of the Council's decision.

Relevant Legislation

Zoo Licensing Act 1981

We have made the information on these web pages as comprehensive as possible.  However, in attempting to simplify the law, certain requirements have been omitted.  Full details of what you must do are in the relevant legislation.
Laws can and do change.  Information was accurate when produced, but may have changed since.  We must advise that only the Courts can give an authoritative opinion on statute law.

Customer Complaints

If you wish to make a complaint please complete the online submission form.

More pages about Zoo Licences

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