The Zoo Licensing Act applies to any establishment, other than a circus or a pet shop, where animals that are not normally domesticated in the UK are kept for public exhibition on more than seven days in any consecutive 12 month period.

Licences are granted initially for 4 years and are normally renewable every 6 years thereafter. Specified standards of 'modern zoo practice' have been published by the Secretary of State for the Environment and can be found on the DEFRA website. Local authorities must have regard to these standards. 

Inspections before issuing a licence and on renewal of a licence will involve veterinary practitioners appointed by both the local authority and DEFRA. Applicants are responsible for all veterinary charges. Applicants should apply at least 6 months before the intended start date of their licence.

Licence application form
Application form for renewal of an existing zoo licence [PDF 11kb]
Notification to operate a zoo licence (Online application)
Application form for renewal of a zoo licence (Online application)
Application form to change a zoo licence (Online application)

Read our animal activity licensing privacy notice for information on how we collect, store and process your data.


Return your application form(s) to:

Animal Welfare
Brighton & Hove City Council
2nd Floor Bartholomew House
Bartholomew Square

Contact us:


phone: 01273 292 170