Animal Licensing

Zoo Licence and Inspections

It is unlawful to operate a Zoo, as defined in the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 except under the authority of a licence issued under this Act by the local authority for the area within which the whole or major part of the zoo is situated.

Planning permission is required

Planning permission is required before a Zoo licence may be granted.

If you are intending to operate a zoo you will first need to notify Braintree District Council of your intention to apply for a zoo licence.

Two months before you make a licence application a notice of intent should be published in one local and one national newspaper, at the site and sent to the local authority where it will be made available for public inspection.  It must state:

  • The location of the zoo
  • The kinds of animals to be kept, in taxonomic category of order
  • The arrangements made for the animals' accommodation, maintenance and well being
  • The approximate number and categories of staff employed or to be employed at the zoo
  • The approximate number of visitors and motor vehicle accommodation is provided for
  • The approximate number and position of the means of access provided or to be provided to the premises

Then you will need to formally apply for a licence.

Zoo Inspections

There are 3 types of inspection undertaken with respect to zoo licences:

  • Periodic
  • Special
  • Informal

Periodic inspections

These are undertaken when a licence is in existence. The authority will discuss with the operator about the inspection and give 28 days notice of the inspection.

Inspections will be undertaken

  • For a new licence.  Once during the first year and the second not later than 6 months before the end of year 4.
  • For a renewed licence or fresh licence granted to the holder of an existing licence.  Once during the third year and the second not later than 6 months before the end of year 6.

Special inspections

May be undertaken by the local authority if it considers it necessary to do so because of:

  • A periodical report
  • Any representations made to local authority or on behalf of a properly constituted body concerned with any aspect of the zoo management or its animal welfare,
  • An informal inspection,
  • Any other circumstances which will call for an investigation

Informal inspections

These are once in any calendar year where no other inspection has been made and by an appointed person from this Council.