Zoo Licence

Zoo Licensing Act 1981(as amended)

Winchester City Council is responsible for licensing zoological parks within the district. Zoo operators have to comply with the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice. These standards cover animal welfare, environmental issues, conservation, education and research.

Sites are fully inspected every 3 years by a team of experts, including 2 Government-appointed inspectors. These inspectors, usually veterinary practitioners, are appointed for their knowledge of the animals within the zoological collection and their experience in managing zoological parks of comparable size. Costs of inspection and administration for the licence is charged to the zoo operator. On years where there is no full inspection, an informal inspection is made by Council officers.

Making an application

The licensing of zoos is a specialist field and the regulations are complex. Details on the legislation and the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice can be found on the www.gov.uk website under the Wildlife and Pets homepage.

If you are thinking of setting up a zoo, it is recommended that you contact a specialist officer first for advice and guidance on the details above. The local authority cannot consider an application unless at least two months notice of the application has been given, plus publication of details in a local and national newspaper, and a notice placed at the site.

The authority must consult the police, fire authority, governing body of any national institute concerned with zoos, the adjoining authority if the zoo overlaps the area of that authority, and any person wishing to object on grounds of alleged injurious effect on the health or safety of persons living in the area.

The authority must arrange an inspection by a consultant inspector from the list of suitable inspectors nominated by the Secretary of State.

To apply on-line for a Notice of Intention to Apply for a Zoo Licence please refer to the link below


Actual cost of inspection. This includes all veterinary and licensing officer time including inspections and administration.