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Standard Zoo Licence Conditions

Contact: Food, Health & Safety Team, Mansion House, Penrith CA11 7YG
Telephone: (01768) 212400 / 212352 / 212327 / 212330 / 212365 / 212366
Email: env.health@eden.gov.uk
Fax:(01768) 890732

The Council is responsible for licensing zoos under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. The granting of a zoo licence is specialised and the government has specified standards of modern zoo practice. Prior to licensing and during the term of the licence, inspections of zoos are undertaken by a specialist vet appointed by the Secretary of State.
A zoo is defined as "any establishment other than a circus or pet shop, where wild animals are kept for public exhibition on more than 7 days in any consecutive 12 months"
All licences issued will include the following conditions as standard, specific conditions will also be attached where these have been identifed as being necessary during the inspection by the specialist vet.
A zoo licence lasts 4 years after initial issue and thereafter lasts 6 years.  Regular visits to check on compliance with the Zoo Licensing Act and the zoo licence are carried out by the Council's environmental health officers.

Conservation Measures

The zoo must:
• promote public education and awareness about diodiversity conservation.  In particular, provide information about the species of wild animals kept in the zoo and their natural habitats.
• accommodate and keep the animals in a manner consistent with the standards set out in the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice.
• prevent escapes and put in place measures to be taken in the event of any escape or unauthorised release of animals
• introduce practical measures designed to prevent the intrusion of pests and vermin into the premises of the zoo.
• keep up-to-date records of the animals, including numbers of different animals, acquisitions, births, deaths, disposals and escapes, causes of deaths and the health of animals.
Participate in at least one of the following:
• Research which benefits the conservation of wild animals
• Training in relevant conservation skills
• Exchanging information about the conservation of wild animals
• Breeding of wild animals in captivity
• Repopulating an area with wild animals, or re-introducing wild animals
The zoo must keep information to show how it has complied with this condition and supply it to the Licensing Authority upon request.


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 thereof, to be sent to the Licensing Authority.

Stock List

A copy of the zoo's annual stock list, as defined in Section 9 of the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice, must be forwarded to the Licensing Authority by 1 April of the year following that to which it relates.

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 1 of the Hazardous Animal Categorisation (see Appendix 12 of the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice), which is from a taxonomic family of which Category 1 species have not previously been kept in the zoo.

Temporary Removal of Animals from the Zoo

The licensee/s to notify the Licensing Authority before the temporary removal from the zoo (other than for veterinary attention or inter-zoo movements) of any animal listed in category 1 of the Hazardous Animal Categorisation of the Secretary of State's modern Zoo Practice. Such notification to be given as early as possible and, in any case, no later than twelve hours before the removal, unless the zoo operator and Licensing Authority mutually agree a shorter period. When giving notification, details of the destination and method of transportation of the animal and of the arrangements for its well-being, as well as for the safety of the public whilst it is away from the zoo, to be provided.
In the event of any non-domestic animal escaping from the confines of the zoo, notification shall be made to the Licensing Authority as soon as possible, and, in any case, not later than twenty-four hours following the escape.
1 These conditions are attached to the licence without prejudice to the application, where relevant, of the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice specified in accordance with the powers conferred under Section 9 of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.
2 The grant of this licence does not imply that the requirements of any other legislation have been met.

  last updated 08 March 2006