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Zoo licence

Information about licences for zoos.

Apply or renew your zoo licence from GOV.UK

Zoos are regulated by the Council under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.

The Council works in close partnership with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on all aspects of zoo licensing.

The licensing of zoos is a specialist field and the regulations are complex. If you are thinking of setting up a zoo, we recommended that you contact a specialist officer first for advice and guidance using the details below.

We cannot consider an application unless we are given least two months notice of the application, 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, 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.

There are exemption for circuses, pet shops and any individual premises where the Secretary of State issues a direction that the act should not apply.

Useful websites


Crime, Enforcement and Regulation Service (Licensing Authority)

Telephone: 020 8314 6400
Email: licensing@lewisham.gov.uk
Opening hours:

The telephone lines are open everyday, 10am–12 noon and 2–4pm.