To run a zoo you’ll need to be licensed by us.

A zoo licence is valid for four years upon your initial application and then for six years thereafter.

Who can apply?

Anyone who intends to keep and display animals to the public for at least seven days of the year.

How to apply

Firstly, notify us of intention to apply at least two months before you apply.

You must give details about: 

  • Zoo location 
  • types of animals and how many
  • how you’ll keep and feed  
  • number of staff you’ll have 
  • number of people you expect to visit, including their cars 
  • entrance and exit areas 
  • how you’ll maintain the zoo 

You must also publish a notice in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and publicly display a copy of that notice. In the notice, you must state that the application notice to the council is available to be inspected at our offices.

You must then complete the relevant applications.

Warrington Borough Council application

.GOV.UK application

Fees and charges
Animal welfare - ZooFee (exc VAT)
Zoo Licence*£991.18

Fees are exclusive of VAT 

*All charges are exclusive of veterinary fees.  Any veterinary fees are charged in addition to the fees charged by us.

After we receive your application

When considering an application, we consider any objections from:

  • the chief officer of police of the zoo area
  • any national zoo governing body
  • anyone who says the zoo would affect the health or safety of those living near it
  • any other person who can show us why the licence shouldn’t be granted

We’ll also consider any inspectors reports, consulting with you about any conditions they propose which should be attached to the licence. We’ll then make arrangements for an inspection to be carried out.

We’ll give you at least 28 days’ notice of the inspection.

We’ll not grant the licence if:

  • the zoo would affect the health or safety of people living near it
  • we’re not satisfied that you will follow appropriate conservation measures
  • we’re not satisfied that the animals’ wellbeing won’t be affected
  • you or someone on your staff has been convicted of an animal welfare offence

Any person objecting to an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence may give written notice of their objection to the council, stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application. Please email

26 April 2024