Zoo licence


To run a zoo in Southampton you will need a licence from Southampton City Council.

If you are thinking of setting up a zoo, it is recommended you contact the Animal Welfare Team first for advice and guidance.


At least two months before making an application for a licence, the applicant must give notice in writing (including by electronic means) to the local authority of their intention to make the application. The notice must identify:

  • The zoo's location
  • The types of animals and approximate number of each group kept for exhibition on the premises and the arrangements for their accommodation, maintenance and wellbeing 
  • The approximate numbers and categories of staff to be employed in the zoo
  • The approximate number of visitors and motor vehicles for which accommodation is to be provided 
  • The approximate number and position of access to be provided to the premises 
  • How required conservation measures will be implemented at the zoo.

At least two months before making the application, the applicant must also publish notice of that intention in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and exhibit a copy of that notice. The notice must identify the location of the zoo and state that the application notice to the local authority is available to be inspected at the local authority offices.

When considering an application, the council shall take into account any representations made by or on behalf of:

  • The applicant
  • The police
  • The fire authority
  • The governing body of any national institution concerned with the operation of zoos
  • Any person alleging that the zoo would affect the health or safety of people living in the neighbourhood
  • Any other person whose representations might show grounds on which the authority has a power or duty to refuse to grant a licence

Before granting or refusing to grant the licence, the council shall consider any inspectors' reports based on their inspection of the zoo, consult the applicant about any conditions they propose should be attached to the licence and make arrangements for an inspection to be carried out. At least 28 days notice of the inspection shall be provided by the local authority.

The council will not grant the licence if they feel that the zoo would adversely affect the health or safety of people living in near it, or seriously affect the preservation of law and order or if they are not satisfied that appropriate conservation measures would be satisfactorily implemented.

How to apply

Please contact the Animal Welfare Team.

Email: animal.welfare@southampton.gov.uk


The fee is £732.00

Paying the licence fee

You can make a Debit or Credit card payment online via the council's secure online payment service. You are not required to register to use this service. Your card must be registered for 3D Secure for the payment to be successful.


Before you make a payment

You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself a couple of minutes to fill in the form.

You will need:

  • A payment card, Apple Pay or Google Pay*

Pay for a zoo licence

Change of circumstance

You must notify us of any change of circumstance. This includes surrendering of your licence or any other material change to the licence or how you operate. There is a fee due in respect of any change that requires a new licence to be issued.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that Southampton City Council must process your application before it can be granted.