Anyone keeping wild animals for the purpose of public display must have a zoo licence.
This is defined in Section 21 of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.
It excludes circuses, pet shops or registered establishments for carrying out animal experiments.
Licences are renewed annually and run from 1 January to 31 December.
We work in close partnership with DEFRA (Department for food and rural affairs) on all aspects of zoo licensing. You can visit their website for more information on the inspection process.
Zoo licences in Lewes district
The cost of a Zoo licence in the Lewes district is £590.00 plus the vet's fees. There will also be an extra cost from the zoo inspectors.
How to apply
Apply by post
There is also the option to apply by post, please contact us for further information.
Two months before applying you must:
- Write to us to give notice of your intention
- Publish a notice of intention in a local and a national newspaper
- Exhibit this notice at the intended site
Once we receive your application and fee we will arrange for a Zoo Inspector from DEFRA and one of our officers to inspect the premises. You will also need to have a vet present.
The Zoo Inspector will make the decision whether to grant the licence or not. A licence will be subject to conditions. An initial licence will be granted for four years. Following this a renewed licence will run for six years.
We will inspect the premises yearly and a Zoo Inspector will carry out an inspection every two years for the initial licence.
The Zoo inspectors fees will be payable by the licence holder.